A temperamental defender, Mauricio Taricco was an attacking full back, who Spurs fans rarely saw the best of.
Enjoying bombing up the right wing, Mauricio had been brought to English football from Argentinos Juniors by Ipswich Town as a 21 year old after only one season in the senior side. It was at Portman Road that the defender probably enjoyed the best of his career, with a cult status and a reputation for hard tackling and even harder shooting.
When Spurs showed an interest in the Argentinian, there was outrage at Ipswich, but Spurs paid nearly £1.8 million for the player in December 1998 and he made his debut the following month, as he had been out with an injury prior to his transfer.
Signed by George Graham, it was perhaps fitting that the defender was the first player brought to White Hart Lane under the new regime and perhaps Graham saw shades of his former Arsenal full back Lee Dixon in his play. Played regularly throughout his Spurs career and although sometimes rash in the tackle, with a liking for going in hard when it was not always necessary, he was a solid performer in the back four. Found it hard in times when Spurs weren't playing particularly well, but stuck at his task and enjoyed tussles with Alan Smith (then of Leeds United), usually ending with Smith being dismissed. Taricco had his own share of dismissals, with one at Liverpool perhaps costing Spurs the game in May 1999 and twice in three games in 2002.
It was shame that controversy seemed to follow him around, as he could have been a popular player, but then it might have been the nature of the game in his home country where he learned his football. He was involved in a spitting fracas and a diving incident against Sheffield United, he left Thomas Gravesen needing 30 stitches in a shin wound after a tackle and fronted up to manager Graeme Souness in a game at Blackburn Rovers following a tackle near the touch-line. All incidents that wipe away the memories of his attacking (in a football sense) play.
After a few changes in management, he was allowed to leave on a free transfer to join West Ham United. He had been injured and suspended at the start of the season, so hadn't played and was not part of Jacques Santini's plans, although the Head Coach had been replaced by Martin Jol when the defender left. However, Mauricio played only one game for the Irons before calling it a day by retiring from football after tearing a hamstring on his debut and offered his contract to be cancelled, which suited both parties.
Mauricio turned up in Italy, where was captain of ASD Villasimius in Sardinia, who played in a Italian regional league and finished 10th in season 2007-08, with the defender playing for them for four seasons.
Joined former Spurs team-mate Gus Poyet as his assistant manager at Brighton & Hove Albion in 2010, as they kept the Seagulls in League One when threatened with relegation, when they took over at the South Coast club, but guided the team to the league title and promotion to the Championship in 2011. Taricco also took to the field, as he was registered as a player and true to form was sent off in a FA Cup tie against Woking in November 2010.