On Thursday night at 7pm ET, ESPN will debut its final film in the 30 For 30 Soccer Stories series. The film, entitled White, Blue and White, tells the story of Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricky Villa’s journey from Argentina to England to play for Tottenham Hotspur, and the impact that the Falklands War between England and Argentina had on their lives.
Both Ardiles and Villa were teammates on the Argentina squad that won the 1978 World Cup. The film begins by telling the story of how Tottenham tried to sign Ardiles, and how he convinced manager Keith Burkinshaw to sign Villa too. They soon became the first South Americans ever to play in England.
Featuring interviews with Glenn Hoddle, Burkinshaw, Paddy Barclay and others, the heartwarming and revealing film explains how Ardiles was a man caught between two countries — where he was seen as a traitor by Argentina because he played in England, and where, after the war began, he was booed and jeered in England because he was Argentine.
The film also takes on a personal note as Ardiles shares his memories and thoughts regarding his cousin, who died in the war after being shot down by a British Air Force Harrier jumpjet.
In an emotional moment in the film, Ardiles and Villa decide to visit Islas Malvinas, but what happens is quite unexpected.
White, Blue and White debuts on ESPN at 7pm ET tonight. The film is highly recommended.
Earlier this week, World Soccer Talk interviewed Ossie Ardiles, where he discussed the film, Messi vs Maradona and his thoughts regarding Tottenham Hotspur’s Glenn Hoddle, and much more.
Kartik Krishnaiyer (KK): What are your thoughts about what you’ve seen so far in this World Cup?
Ossie Ardiles (OA): It’s been an absolutely wonderful World Cup. One of the best in living memory. Sometimes the World Cup features teams playing in a very defensive manner, but that hasn’t been the case for this World Cup, so it’s been wonderful with a lot of teams — in principle, who were not going to do very well like Costa Rica and USA — doing well.
KK: Did it remind you in any way of 1978 because it’s on South American soil with lots of goal scoring?
OA: Yes, I’ve been very impressed with all of the South American teams, really — apart from Uruguay, who I didn’t like very much, but Colombia has been wonderful. They’ve been playing very carefree going forward. It’s been very nice to see.
KK: Let’s talk about the film you’ve done “White, Blue and White.” How do you think it helps people in understanding the Falklands Conflict?
OA: Well, I hope that it shows the problem that we encountered because sometimes people think that the football players have a very cozy life and that they just play football, have a lot of money and that is it. But sometimes there are a lot of different situations that arise where you don’t have a lot of control whatsoever.