Parma, 2 May 2019 – Ariel Ortega is this week’s Old Flame for Parma vs. Sampdoria – the Crociati’s next test in Serie A on Sunday 5 May at 15:00 CEST.

Ortega developed as a player at River Plate, where he joined their first team in 1991 before he’d even reached 18. He won three Apertura titles during his first three seasons, duly earning a call-up to the Albiceleste for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. At the tender age of 20, he was the youngest player in the Argentina squad.

His time with the Millonarios lasted up until 1996, leaving after his team triumphed in the Copa Libertadores. A move to Spain arrived in 1997-98, with Valencia acquiring his signature. He scored nine goals during 29 appearances in La Liga before then making a move to Serie A. His first experience in Italy was with Sampdoria in 1998-99, a campaign consisting of eight goals in 27 appearances.

Ortega joined Parma in 1999-2000, featuring on 27 occasions during one season with the Crociati. In the league, he made 18 appearances and scored three goals (vs. Hellas Verona, Torino and Perugia), while also playing five times in the UEFA Cup (with an assist in the last 16 against Werder Bremen). He won the Supercoppa Italiana with Parma, which was the last of the club’s three trophies won in 100 days. 

The following season saw a move back to his native Argentina, although it wasn’t his last. He spent two further stints with River Plate from 2002 to 2003, 2006 to 2008 and 2009 to 2011. In the meantime, he also enjoyed spells with Fenerbahce, Newell’s, Independiente Rivadavia, All Boys and Defensores de Belgrano.