Football

Published: Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 3:27:29 AM
Updated: Wednesday January 22, 2014 MYT 3:28:05 AM

Ex-Argentina international Ardiles recovering after accident

LONDON (Reuters) - Ossie Ardiles, a World Cup winner with Argentina and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, is recovering in hospital following a car crash on the Falkland Islands, British and Argentine media reported on Tuesday.

Ardiles, 61, was in the Falklands making a television documentary about his life with friend and former Argentina and Spurs team mate Ricky Villa.

"(I am) fine and doing well," Ardiles was quoted as saying by the BBC. "The attention and care we have received from the police, the RAF helicopter team, the doctors and nurses has been world class. Thanks to everyone for your concern."

Ardiles was airlifted to King Edward Memorial Hospital in Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, following the accident on Monday night.

He was driving a car with several other occupants including Villa at a slow speed on a gravel road when he lost control and crashed.

Villa, who was only shaken, told the Argentine TV news channel TN that Ardiles required about 28 stitches in wounds he suffered.

"We were all a bit worried after a big fright. It was a very tough moment," said Villa, who was also Ardiles's assistant when he was coach of Argentine first division side Racing Club in 2002-03.

Villa, also 61, added that one of the members of the camera crew "suffered a slight fracture of one of his vertebrae".

Both players were part of the Argentina team who won the 1978 World Cup on home soil.

They then headed to London to join Spurs and were part of the side that won the 1981 FA Cup. Ardiles also helped Spurs win the UEFA Cup in 1984.

Ardiles made his home in England but had a spell at Paris St Germain in the 1982-83 season after the Falklands war between Britain and Argentina. The islands' sovereignty is still disputed by the two countries.

He returned to Britain where, after his retirement as a player, he forged a coaching career during which he worked in several countries, most notably Japan where he won titles with Shimizu S-Pulse, Yokohama Marinos and Tokyo Verdy.

(Additional reporting by Guido Nejamkis in Buenos Aires; Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith/Rex Gowar; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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