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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Friday, 1 October 2010 15:22 UK

Profile: Ricardo Villa

RICARDO VILLA'S BUENOS AIRES
Ricardo Villa

Footballer Ricky Villa grew up in Buenos Aires province. By the age of 18 he was already playing for Quilmes, one of the region's professional teams, before going on to Club Atletico Tucuman.

It was around this time that fans gave Ricky the nickname 'God' because of his striking beard and long hair - and his seemingly effortless knack of scoring a goal whenever one was needed.

Ricky was selected for the Argentine national team for the 1978 World Cup and on June 25th his team lifted the trophy, victorious.

Villa's impressive performance in the Cup led to him being snapped up by English manager, Keith Burkinshaw, to play for Tottenham Hotspur.

At the time, it was still unusual for foreign players to play in the British leagues, and the signing of Villa and compatriot Ossie Ardiles caused a stir in the world of UK football.

Ricky scored in his very first outing for Spurs, and went on to make 133 appearances for the club between 1978 and 1983.

After leaving Spurs, Ricky played for teams including Ford Lauderdale Strikers in the US and Deportivo Cali in Colombia. He has since enjoyed a career as coach and has made forays into politics.

In 2008 Ricky was inducted into the official Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame.



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