and still ricky villa - ricky villa - my autobiography

17.04.2017

And Still Ricky Villa - Ricky Villa - My Autobiography
by Ricky Villa with Joel Miller & Federico Ardiles
269 pages
Vision Sports Publishing
ISBN 13: 978-1905326-89-1
Price :  18.99

When most people hear the words "Ricky Villa", they usually think of his most famous moment in a Spurs shirt.  That weaving, stuttering run at Wembley in 1981 that brought Spurs a trophy and the player world-wide notoriety for a very special goal in a very special game.

But remembering the forlorn figure that tramped around the running track at the old national stadium in the original game, it showed that there were two sides to this man.  This book shows even more facets of a personality that is surprising and enlightening.

The bull like striker came to Spurs on a wave of tickertape just after the 1978 World Cup with his compatriot and great friend Ossie Ardiles and his team-mate for club and country features throughout the book, with Ardiles Junior having a hand in producing this autobiography.  But Villa's upbringing was very different to the life that he was thrust into in England.  A hard farming background perhaps ensured that Villa was more grounded than many footballers and stopped him getting wrapped up in the glitz surrounding the game.

His stories about the time at Spurs and the Falklands War are probably of most interest to Tottenham fans, although, the whole book is very readable.  While the football world engulfs him, family is the one thing that keeps his feet on the ground and what comes through is how that is the most important thing to him.  Money and fame might come and go, but he is happiest among his loved ones.

Ricky admits his approach to the game was not always what it should have been, but his views on how it should be played and the way the game is run are interesting.  His views on Argentine football, past and present, show an understanding of the tactics, but also the needs of players and it is a shame that his managerial career never really blossomed in his homeland.

The content is not just restricted to football, as Ricardo has a great social conscience and his views on politics, the military junta in Argentina just before and during the World Cup there and how society should be introduce a side to the man that you may not have imagined.

While his on-pitch performances could be fluctuating in their effect on the game, on paper it is a different matter and this autobiography is not your standard football fare, but an insight into a man who has more interesting things to say than the average footballer.

marco van hip

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