Ortega in a River Plate shirt in 2013
|Full name||Arnaldo Ariel Ortega|
|Date of birth||4 March 1974|
|Place of birth||Ledesma, Jujuy, Argentina|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Forward|
|2004–2006||Newell's Old Boys||53||(11)|
|2008–2009||→ Independiente (RIV) (loan)||25||(4)|
|2011||→ All Boys (loan)||12||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Defensores de Belgrano (loan)||27||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Ariel Ortega first played for Club Atlético River Plate on 14 December 1991 and until 1996 and returned in 2000–02, 2006–08 and 2009–11. Ortega's other clubs include Fenerbahçe, Parma, Sampdoria, Valencia, and Newell's Old Boys. Ortega played for his country in the 1994, 1998, and 2002 World Cups. He was also a member of the team that won the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Biography and career
Style of play
A highly creative player with excellent technical ability, Ortega was well known for his pace, mobility, dribbling, and skills from dead ball situations, as well as his ball trickery, clever body feints, and lobbed shots. At his prime he was one of the best dribblers in the world; primarily deployed as an attacking midfielder, Ortega was an effective playmaker due to his vision and passing ability, which earned him comparisons with Maradona as a youth. Along with his skills, Ortega was infamously temperamental, and he was criticised throughout his career for not living up to his potential.
Beginnings in Argentina
Ortega began his professional football career in 1991 with Argentine club River Plate. With the club, he won the Primera División in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996, as well as the Copa Libertadores in 1996. He lost out on the 1996 Intercontinental Cup final to Juventus.
Ortega left Argentina in 1996. He played 1½ seasons for Valencia CF before being signed by Sampdoria in 1998 for 23 billion Italian lire (£8 million), replacing Juan Sebastián Verón. After the club was relegated to Serie B, Ortega joined Parma AC, rejoining national and former club team-mate Hernán Crespo, replacing Verón again who left for Lazio. Parma paid Sampdoria 28 billion lire (£9.4 million). However, in the following season he returned to Argentina with River Plate, to compensate unpaid 12 billion lire transfer fees of Crespo. (The 10% of the transfer fees to Lazio) Claudio Husaín also joined the club. River Plate acquired 50% registration rights of Ortega for a reported 5.5 million dollars. While, in Parma AC annual filing to Italian government, Ortega was sold for 11 billion lire.
Fenerbahçe and ban
In May 2002, Fenerbahçe signed Ortega from River Plate for a fee of USD 7,500,000 (USD 2,500,000 of which was paid to Parma). Fenerbahçe also bought his image rights for a further USD 1,500,000. Ortega signed a 4-year contract. He was one of the key players of the team, scoring 5 goals in 14 matches.
Fenerbahçe were forced to file a complaint to FIFA in April 2003 as Ortega had failed to return from international duty since 12 February 2003. In June 2003 the FIFA Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) ordered Ortega to pay Fenerbahçe USD 11,000,000 as compensation for breach of an employment contract and suspended him until 30 December 2003. Ortega appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July 2003 but the case was dismissed on 5 November. Ortega served a 4-month suspension from that day. After the ban he was without a club.
Return to Argentina
In 2004, when he could finally come back to football, he joined Newell's Old Boys after he was called by his friend Américo Gallego, who at the time was Newell's' coach. Newell paid an unknown sum to Fenerbahçe as part compensation for what Ortega owed the club. They won the Apertura 2004.
In June 2006, he went back to his first team River Plate, where he played for about half of the Apertura 2006, before he stopped to begin treatment for alcoholism. On January 2007, during River's pre-season in Mar del Plata, and one day after playing an excellent game in which he scored, he surprised everyone with another alcoholic episode, after which River Plate's doctors suggested to the coach that Ortega should go back to Buenos Aires to resume treatment for his problem.
Coach Daniel Passarella later brought Ortega back, stating he was ready for a comeback. On 15 March 2007, in a Copa Libertadores 2007 match against LDU Quito, Ortega formed part of River's bench but was not given a chance to play. However, three days later, in a league match versus Quilmes, he came on during the second half to help break the opposing team's defense in a tight 0-0 up to that point. Ortega scored a controversial goal with his hand, in the 93rd minute, to give River the victory and himself a great comeback.
Upon the arrival of Diego Simeone as head coach of River, Ortega allegedly lost some "protections" he was rumoured to have and, despite being an important part of the team that achieved the Clausura 2008 title, Simeone left him out of the squad for the upcoming season, reasoning his decision on Ortega having several times not come to train as well as some episodes of alcoholism. After some controversy and rumours in the winter window of Argentine market, he was loaned to Nacional B side Independiente Rivadavia, signing a one-year contract where a twice a week trip to a Chilean Special Treatment Center for alcoholics is one of the clauses. On 1 May 2009 the player has been let go by Independiente officials. The club decided to terminate his contract in advance. Ortega was on loan from River Plate. On his first game back in River Plate, 25 July 2009, he scored an outstanding chip shot goal to give River a 1-0 victory over Everton F.C. of England in Edmonton, Canada during the preseason. In the 2009 Apertura, Ortega scored a wonder lobbed goal against Chacarita Juniors to give River Plate a 4-3 victory. Later in the tournament, he scored a last minute equalizer against Estudiantes.
In the 2010 Clausura, Ortega started River's first two matches, but suffered another alcoholic relapse and missed the next ten games before returning against Newell's Old Boys in the 13th round of matches.
In 2011, he was loaned to Defensores de Belgrano.
Ortega was included in the squad for the 1994 World Cup. His debut in the starting eleven occurred on 3 July 1994 when Argentina was knocked out of the competition by Romania. He also reached the final of the 1995 King Fahd Cup with Argentina, and he won a Silver Olympic medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Ortega was handed the #10 shirt for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he was expected to carry the mantle of the team's playmaker, and it was his first World Cup as an established star. Despite impressing in the early rounds to be considered a favorite as player of the tournament, Ortega was most notable for his sending-off in the quarter-finals against the Netherlands. Ortega received a second yellow card for head-butting Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar when van der Sar confronted him after a dive in the penalty area, for which Ortega was just getting his first yellow card. Shortly after Ortega's sending-off, Dennis Bergkamp scored the winning goal to make it 2–1, eliminating Argentina.
Ortega was also a member of the squad for the 2002 World Cup. Ortega missed a penalty in the last match against Sweden, which was then followed up and converted into the back of the net by Hernan Crespo), nonetheless the result meant that Argentina was knocked out in the first round.
On 24 September 2009, he was recalled to the Argentina national first-team squad, but a couple of days later, it was announced that Ariel Ortega would miss the friendly match against Ghana due to an injury he picked up during the weekend in the Argentine Domestic League.
In April 2010, 17 years after his Argentina debut, Ortega received a call-up again, this time against Haiti. All the players in Diego Maradona's squad were from the Primera División Argentina. He played the match as starting XI on 5 May.
|1991–92||River Plate||Primera División||14||1||?||?||?||?|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2000–01||River Plate||Primera División||27||9||?||?||?||?|
|2004–05||Newell's Old Boys||Primera División||24||5||?||?|
|2008–09||Independiente Rivadavia||Primera B Nacional||25||4||25||4|
|2009–10||River Plate||Primera División||13||2||2||0||2|
National team statistics
|Argentina national team|
|International appearances and goals|
|1.||15 December 1993||Miami, United States||Germany||2–1||0||Friendly|
|2.||23 March 1994||Recife, Brazil||Brazil||0–2||0|
|3.||20 April 1994||Salta, Argentina||Morocco||3–1||0|
|4.||31 May 1994||Tel Aviv, Israel||Israel||3–0||0|
|5.||4 June 1994||Zagreb, Croatia||Croatia||0–0||0|
|6.||21 June 1994||Boston, United States||Greece||4–0||0||1994 FIFA World Cup|
|7.||30 June 1994||Dallas, United States||Bulgaria||0–2||0|
|8.||3 July 1994||Los Angeles, United States||Romania||2–3||0|
|9.||16 November 1994||Santiago, Chile||Chile||3–0||0||Friendly|
|10.||21 December 1994||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Romanian League||1–0||0|
|11.||27 December 1994||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Yugoslavia||1–0||0|
|12.||8 January 1995||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Japan||5–1||1||1995 King Fahd Cup|
|13.||10 January 1995||Nigeria||0–0||0|
|14.||13 January 1995||Denmark||0–2||0|
|15.||14 February 1995||Mendoza, Argentina||Bulgaria||4–1||0||Friendly|
|16.||13 May 1995||Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||1–1||0|
|17.||31 May 1995||La Plata, Argentina||Peru||1–0||0|
|18.||22 June 1995||Mendoza, Argentina||Slovakia||6–0||0|
|19.||30 June 1995||Quilmes, Argentina||Australia||2–0||0|
|20.||8 July 1995||Paysandú, Uruguay||Bolivia||2–1||0||1995 Copa América|
|21.||11 July 1995||Chile||4–0||0|
|22.||14 July 1995||United States||0–3||0|
|23.||17 July 1995||Rivera, Uruguay||Brazil||2-2
|24.||20 September 1995||Madrid, Spain||Spain||1–2||1||Friendly|
|25.||11 October 1995||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Colombia||0–0||0|
|26.||8 November 1995||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Brazil||0–1||0|
|27.||21 December 1995||Mendoza, Argentina||Venezuela||6–0||0|
|28.||24 April 1996||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Bolivia||3–1||2||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|29.||2 June 1996||Quito, Ecuador||Ecuador||0–2||0|
|30.||7 July 1996||Lima, Peru||Peru||0–0||0|
|20 July 1996||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||United States||3–1||0||1996 Olympics (Argentina U23)|
|22 July 1996||Washington, D.C., United States||Portugal||1–1||1|
|24 July 1996||Birmingham, Alabama, United States||Tunisia||1–1||1|
|27 July 1996||Spain||4–0||0|
|30 July 1996||Athens, Georgia, United States||Portugal||2–0||0|
|3 August 1996||Nigeria||2–3||0|
|31.||1 September 1996||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Paraguay||1–1||0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|32.||9 October 1996||San Cristóbal, Venezuela||Venezuela||5–2||1|
|33.||15 December 1996||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Chile||1–1||0|
|34.||28 December 1996||Mar del Plata, Argentina||Yugoslavia||2–3||0||Friendly|
|35.||12 January 1997||Montevideo, Uruguay||Uruguay||0–0||0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|36.||12 February 1997||Barranquilla, Colombia||Colombia||1–0||0|
|37.||2 April 1997||La Paz, Bolivia||Bolivia||2–1||0|
|38.||30 April 1997||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Ecuador||2–1||1|
|39.||8 June 1997||Peru||2–0||0|
|40.||20 July 1997||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Venezuela||2–0||0|
|41.||10 September 1997||Santiago, Chile||Chile||2–1||0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|42.||12 October 1997||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Uruguay||0–0||0|
|43.||16 November 1997||Colombia||1–1||0|
|44.||19 February 1998||Mendoza, Argentina||Romanian League||2–1||0||Friendly|
|45.||24 February 1998||Mar del Plata, Argentina||Yugoslavia||3–1||0|
|46.||15 April 1998||Jerusalem, Israel||Israel||1–2||0|
|47.||22 April 1998||Dublin, Republic of Ireland||Republic of Ireland||2–1||1|
|48.||29 April 1998||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Brazil||1–0||0|
|49.||14 May 1998||La Plata, Argentina||Bosnia-Herzegovina||5–0||1|
|50.||19 May 1998||Mendoza, Argentina||Chile||1–0||0|
|51.||25 May 1998||Buenos Aires, Argentina||South Africa||2–0||1|
|52.||14 June 1998||Toulouse, France||Japan||1–0||0||1998 FIFA World Cup|
|53.||21 June 1998||Paris, France||Jamaica||5–0||2|
|54.||26 June 1998||Bordeaux, France||Croatia||1–0||0|
|55.||30 June 1998||Saint-Étienne, France||England||2–2 (AET)
|56.||4 July 1998||Marseilles, France||Netherlands||1–2||0|
|57.||31 March 1999||Amsterdam, The Netherlands||Netherlands||1–1||0||Friendly|
|58.||26 June 1999||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Lithuania||0–0||0|
|59.||11 July 1999||Ciudad del Este, Paraguay||Brazil||1–2||0||1999 Copa América|
|60.||4 September 1999||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Brazil||2–0||0||Friendly|
|61.||7 September 1999||Porto Alegre, Brazil||Brazil||2–4||1|
|62.||13 October 1999||La Plata, Argentina||Colombia||2–1||1|
|63.||17 November 1999||Seville, Spain||Spain||2–0||0|
|64.||23 February 2000||London, England, United Kingdom||England||0–0||0|
|65.||29 March 2000||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Chile||4–1||0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|66.||26 April 2000||Maracaibo, Venezuela||Venezuela||4–0||2|
|67.||4 June 2000||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Bolivia||1–0||0|
|68.||29 June 2000||Bogotá, Colombia||Colombia||3–1||0|
|69.||19 July 2000||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Ecuador||2–0||0|
|70.||26 July 2000||São Paulo, Brazil||Brazil||1–3||0|
|71.||16 August 2000||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Paraguay||1–1||0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|72.||3 September 2000||Lima, Peru||Peru||2–1||0|
|73.||15 November 2000||Santiago, Chile||Chile||2–0||1|
|74.||20 December 2000||Los Angeles, United States||Mexico||2–0||0||Friendly|
|75.||28 March 2001||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Venezuela||5–0||0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|76.||25 April 2001||La Paz, Bolivia||Bolivia||3–3||0|
|77.||15 August 2001||Quito, Ecuador||Ecuador||2–0||0||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|78.||5 September 2001||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Brazil||2–1||0|
|79.||7 October 2001||Asunción, Paraguay||Paraguay||2–2||0|
|80.||8 November 2001||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Peru||2–0||0|
|81.||14 November 2001||Montevideo, Uruguay||Uruguay||1–1||0|
|82.||2 June 2002||Ibaraki, Japan||Nigeria||1–0||0||2002 FIFA World Cup|
|83.||7 June 2002||Sapporo, Japan||England||0–1||0|
|84.||12 June 2002||Rifu, Miyagi, Japan||Sweden||1–1||0|
|85.||20 November 2002||Saitama, Japan||Japan||2–0||0||Friendly|
|86.||12 February 2003||Amsterdam, The Netherlands||Netherlands||0–1||0|
|87.||5 May 2010||Cutral Có, Argentina||Haiti||4–0||0||Friendly|
- Pan American Games Gold Medal: 1
- Summer Olympics Silver Medal: 1
- es:Ariel Ortega#Inicios
- Mora, Marcela. "Ariel Ortega - just an ordinary genius". http://www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
- Bartolozzi, Bruno (29 July 1998). "Ortega alla Samp per 23 miliardi, il Betis sonda Cesare Maldini". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Monti, Fabio (4 July 1999). "Ortega, un affare da 28 miliardi". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- Laudisa, Carlo (10 August 2000). "Ortega dà l' addio al Parma Torna al River con Husain". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
- "Ariel Ortega vuelve a River". La Nación (in Spanish). 9 August 2000. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- AC Parma SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2011 (Italian), CCIAA Archive (require login and purchase)
- "Arbitration CAS 2003/O/482 Ariel Ortega v/ Fenerbahçe & Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), award of 5 November 2002". The Court of Arbitration for Sport. 5 November 2002. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Tactical Formation". Football-Lineups.com. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
- "Ortega said: I will leave River" (in Spanish). Clarín.
- "Aguilar forced Ortega and Simeone to an agreement" (in Spanish). Clarín.
- "Ortega is left out of River squad" (in Spanish). Clarín.
- "New scandal by Ariel Ortega" (in Spanish). La Nueva.
- "Ariel Ortega is too close to UAE" (in Spanish). ESPN.
- "Dallas FC aims on Ariel Ortega" (in Spanish). La Nación.
- "Ortega signs for Independiente Rivadavia" (in Spanish). La Nación.
- "Ortega signs for Independiente Rivadavia" (in Spanish). La Nación.
- "Ortega returns to Argentina squad after six years". Espnsoccernet.com. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-27.
- "La Selección se entrenará hoy y mañana por la tarde" (in Spanish). AFA. 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- "Diego Maradona dio la lista para el amistoso ante Haití". AFA (in Spanish) (Buenos Aires). 27 April 2010. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- "La Selección Argentina derrotó a Haití". AFA (in Spanish) (Buenos Aires). 5 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
- "Historical Data". LFP. Archived from the original on 1 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Player Details". Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- Conmebol.com | Conmebol
- Ariel Ortega at National-Football-Teams.com
- "International Matches 1994 - Intercontinental, January–April". RSSSF. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- "International Matches 1994 - Intercontinental, May–August". RSSSF. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- International Matches 1994 - South America
- "International Matches 1994 – Intercontinental, September–December". RSSSF. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- International Matches 1995 - Intercontinental, January-March
- International Matches 1995 - Intercontinental, April-June
- International Matches 1995 - Intercontinental, July-September
- International Matches 1995 - South America
- Match Report 28 December 1996
- International Matches 1998 - Intercontinental
- Match Report 24 February 1998
- Sambafoot Match Report
- Match Report 14 May 1998
- All Bafana Games Part 1
- International Matches 1999 - Intercontinental
- International Matches 1999 - South America
- Match Report 23 February 2000
- International Matches 2002 - Intercontinental, July-December
- Ariel Ortega – FIFA competition record
- Ariel Ortega at National-Football-Teams.com
- (Spanish) Argentine Primera statistics
- (Spanish) River Plate player profile