Friday, January 5, 2018

Israel Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Israel WC Finals 1970
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is the all-time team for Israel. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.

In 1948 the team became, officially, the national football team of (the State of) Israel. The Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the US Olympic Team. The game was won by the US 1–3, and in the 20th minute of the game Shmuel Ben-Dror scored the first goal after the creation of the State of Israel.

Due to political issue, Israel was a member of AFC and Oceania before joining UEFA in 1994.  While being a member of AFC, it has won the Asian Cup in 1964 and qualified for the World Cup Finals in 1970. In 1968, Israel reached the quarterfinal of the Summer Olympics. They were only eliminated by Bulgaria by a lucky draw (before penalty kick was created) and Bulgaria went on to win the silver medal.

This is my all-time team for Israel. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

1964 Asian Cup winner

GK: Ya'akov Hodorov יעקב חודורוב
Nicknamed "the Bird", he was considered by many to be Israel's best goalkeeper in history. He started with Maccabi Rishon LeZion and Hapoel Rishon LeZion. He moved to Hapoel Tel Aviv in 1947, the club where he stayed for most of his career.  Hodorov had 31 caps between 1949 and 1964.  The most memorable match of his career was in 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification against Wales at Cardiff, in which he suffered a broken nose in a collision with Welsh striker John Charles, but continued to play and made dozens of acrobatic saves.

GK: Avi Ran אבי רן
Avi Ran was projected to be one of the greatest players in Israel's football history, but he died at the age of 23 from a boating accident in 1987.  He was voted Israeli Player of the Year in 1986.  He played for Maccabi Haifa between 1981 and 1987. He made his senior debut at the age of 17 in the 1981-1982 season. He conceded only 18 goals in the 1985-86 season, the lowest in Maccabi Haifa's history. At the international level, he earned 8 caps from 1986 to 1987.

Avi Ran 

GK: Dudu Aouate דוד "דודו" אוואט
After playing for several clubs in his country, most notably with Hapoel Haifa. With Maccabi Tel Aviv, he made it the Champions' League Group Stage for the 2002-2003 season, first time for an Israeli club and recorded a victory over Manchester United. In He moved to Spain in 2003, going on to represent Racing de Satander, Deportivo La Coruña and Mallorca. Aouate won 78 caps for Israel, during 14 years.

RB: Alon Harazi אלון חרזי
Harazi finished his career in the 2009/2010 season as the captain and longest-serving member of Maccabi Haifa. He joined the club at the tender age of 18 in 1990 from a third division team.  He set a record by making 400 league appearances with Maccabi Haifa in two stints. He also played for Beitar Jerusalem between the two stints.  Harazi represented Israel in 89 between 1992 and 2006.

RB/CB/DM: David Primo דוד פרימו
Liked Moshe Leon, David Primo was also born in Bulgaria.  He played for a number of clubs in Israel and the United States.  In Israel, Primo mainly played for Hapoel Tel Aviv.  He first appeared in Hapoel Tel Aviv's senior team in 1963, when he was 17. In the US, he played for NY Cosmos with Pele in 1975. He had 32 caps with Israel. He was a member of Israel's team at the 1970 World Cup Finals.  

CB: Itzhak Schneor יצחק שניאור
Shneor made 14 for Israel appearances between 1948 and 1956. He had the honor of captaining the national team on several occasions, including crucial matches for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics qualification against the Soviet team. His last game in the national team uniform took place in the Asia Cup tournament in 1956. Shneor played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1949, as he helped the team secure four championships and two state cups during the 1950's.

CB/RB: Tal Ben Haim  טל בן-חיים
At the club level, Tal Ben Haim has played for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sunderland, Portsmouth, West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers, Standard Liége and Charlton Athletic. His longest spells were with Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth. He is also a member of the Israeli national squad. He made his debut for Israel on 13 February 2002 in a friendly match against Germany.  At the time of writing, he has 96 caps between 2002 and 2017.
Tal Ben Haim
CB: Arik Benado  אריאל "אריק" בנאדו
Arik Benado started his career with Maccabi Haifa in 1991, where his father also played for Maccabi Haifa in the 1970's. Besides Maccabi Haifa, he also played for Beitar Jerusalem. He won the Israeli league 9 times. Benado is also a long-standing member of the Israeli national team where at one point he held the record as the most capped player with 94 caps between 1995 and 2007.  He was named the Israeli Premier League Best Defender of the Year: 2007–08.

SW/CB: Zvi Rosen צבי רוז
Born in West Germany, Zvi Rosen is the son of two survivors of the Warsaw ghetto. He played 42 official games for Israel between 1968 and 1974. and went to the Summer Olympics in 1968 and the World Cup Finals in 1970.  He scored 4 goals. Rosen played for Maccabi Tel Aviv from 1965 to 1977, winning three championships, four state cups and two Asian championships. He also played for Hapoel Yehud as a player-coach.

LB: Avi Cohen אבי כהן
Avi Cohen began his playing career with Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he is considered an all-time great. He was best remembered for playing with Liverpool between 1979 and 1981.  He also played for Rangers in Scotland for a single season playing under manager Graeme Souness who was his Liverpool teammate.  He was the first Israeli to play in England. At the international level, he had 51 caps between 1976 and 1988. He went to the 1976 Olympics playing for Israel as the Asian representative.
Avi Cohen
LB: Menachem Bello  מנחם בלו
Menachem Bello played for the Israel national team between 1965 and 1975. He was part of the Israel squad for the 1970 World Cup. He also played in the 1968 Summer Olympics. At club level, Bello played solely for Maccabi Tel-Aviv. He made his debut for them at the age of 16 in 1964. It was the club's greatest period, where they were Asian champion twice.  He was a one club player.

DM: Tal Banin טל בנין
Tal Banin played for a number of clubs in Israel at the club level.  He was best remembered for his stints with Hapoel Haifa and Maccabi Haifa.  In 1993, he joined AS Cannes in France. In 1997, he became the first Israeli to play in Italy's Serie A when he joined Brescia. He played there between 1997 and 2000.  Brescia fell to Serie B in which he helped it to gain promotion again after a single season. At the international level, he had over 80 caps.  He captained the Israeli national team between 1990 and 2003.

Tal Banin
CM/DM: Bibras Natcho ביברס נאתכו
Bibras Natcho began his career at Hapoel Tel Aviv and later joined Rubin Kazan in Russia, where he had notable performances in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Natcho also played for PAOK in Greece before returning to Russia with CSKA Moscow, and earned accolades. He then moved to Olympiacos in Greece and later joined Partizan in Serbia. He is also a former captain of the Israel national team who is also the first of either Circassian or Muslim origin, until his international retirement on 25 March 2023.

CM: Uri Malmilian  אורי מלמיליאן
Malmilian is all-time great with Beitar Jerusalem.  He won Beitar's first important trophy, the Israeli Cup in 1976. In 1986 Malmilian was the Top Scorer of the Israeli league with 14 goals in 30 matches. In 1987, he partnered with Eli Ohana to bring the club its first championship. He made his national team debut before at the age of 18. He is the youngest ever player to be on the Israel national team. 

CM: Giora Spiegel גיורא שפיגל
Giora Spiegel is a member of the Israeli Football Hall of Fame since 2009. He played with Maccabi Tel Aviv.  In 1973, he joined Strasbourg, where he played until 1978.  In 1978, he joined Lyon. After a season, he returned to Israel.  He was capped 44 times.  Giora Spiegel is the son of Eliezer Spiegel, who played for Maccabi Petah Tikva and the Israel national football team.  He was an important player for Israel at the 1970 World Cup Finals.

AM/CM: Eyal Berkovic אייל ברקוביץ'
Berkovic started with Maccabi Haifa in 1989.  After a successful loan move to Southampton in England, he joined West Ham in 1997. He went on to play for Celtic, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth before returning home to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2005. He had 78 caps for the national team from 1992 to 2004. The Israel Football Hall of Flame selected him as one of the five greatest Israeli footballers of all-time.

AM/RM: Yossi Benayoun יוסי שי בניון
Benayoun is Israel's most well-known player.  He played for Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa before moving to Racing de Santander in Spain. Three years later he moved to West Ham United, and later Liverpool. In 2010, he signed for Chelsea, but then onward, his career in Europe was not so successful, despite winning the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. He later had short career with Arsenal, West Ham(2nd stint) and Queens Park Rangers before returning to Maccabi Haifa. Benayoun is Israel's most capped player of all time with 102 caps.

Yossi Benayoun 

AM/LM: Haim Revivo חיים מיכאל רביבו
Haim Revivo played with Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv and  Maccabi Haifa before heading in Europe.  Between 1996 and 2000, he played for Celta Vigo in Spain's La Liga.  Then, in 2000, he joined Fenerbahçe and became the first and only Jewish footballer to star in a Muslim country.  He was very successful there. He joined rivals Galatasaray in 2002, but he retuned home a season later in 2003. For international football, he had 67 caps.  He was named co-winner of the 1998 Israel Sports Figure of the Year Award.

LW/ST: Ronny Rosenthal רוני רוזנטל
"Rocket Ronny" started his career with hometown team Maccabi Haifa before he played in Belgium with Club Brugge and Standard Liege.  In 1999, he moved to Liverpool in 1990 for a fee of £1.1million, becoming the first non-British player to move to an English club for more than £1million. He played there for 3 seasons.  He was a cult hero there. He also played for Tottenham Hotspurs between 1994 and 1997 before heading to Watford. He was capped 60 times for Israel between 1983 and 1997.
Ronny Rosenthal 
ST: Eli Ohana  אליהו "אלי" אוחנה
Eli Ohana was considered to be one of Israel's greatest players.  He moved to Mechelen in 1987, where he was a key player winning the UEFA Cup.  He won the Bravo Award by Italy's Guerin Sportivo for the best Under-23 player in Europe. He was capped 50 times for Israel.  During an important World Cup qualifier against Australia in 1989, he scored the first goal and kissed the Star of Davids in front of the Australian coach Frank Arok who alleged to have made an antisemitic remark before the game. 

ST: Nahum Stelmach נחום סטלמך‎
His most recognizable attribute was the quality of his headers, with which he scored most of his international goals. As a result he was commonly nicknamed "the golden head" in Israel. He was chosen third by Yediot Aharonot's greatest Israeli footballers. He made a name for himself as the leader of Hapoel Petah Tikva, where he spent most of his career. He earned 61 caps.  In 1956, he finished as the top scorer of the AFC Asian Cup. 

ST: Eran Zahavi ערן זהבי  
Zahavi was named Israeli Footballer of the Year twice (2013–14 and 2014–15), and finished as the top goalscorer of the Israeli Premier League for 3 consecutive seasons. . In 2016, he broke the Israeli league six-decade-old season scoring record. He was named the 2017 Chinese Super League MVP, and broke the league's single-season scoring record in 2019. He made his debut for Israel in 2010. He is a former national team captain and the current all-time top scorer for Israel with 35 goals.

ST: Mordechai Spiegler מרדכי "מוטל'ה" שפיגלר
Mordechai Spiegler played for Maccabi Netanya along with Paris Saint Germain in France and alongside Pelé for New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in the 1970s. He was chosen as the Israeli Player of the Year a record four times, in 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, and in 1970/71.  Spiegler helped Israel to win the 1964 AFC Asian Cup.  He also helped Israel to qualify for the World Cup  in Mexico. He scored Israel's lone goal in World Cup history in a 1–1 draw against Sweden. He captained the Israeli Olympic team at Mexico City 1968. 
Mordechai Spiegler

Honorable Mention
Itzhak Vissoker, Boni Ginzburg, Nir Davidovich,  Amatsia Levkovich, Walid Badir, Haim Bar, Gadi Bromer, Shimon Gershon, Avi Cohen of Jersusalem, Eli Dasa, Shraga Bar, Shlomo Shirazi, Najwan Ghrayib, Moshe Glam, David Pisanti, David Amsalem, Yossi Abukasis, Nir Klinger, Nir Bitton, Idan Tal, Gal Alberman, Itzhak Shum, Moshe Sinai, Avi Nimni, Alon Hazan, Itzik Zohar, Reuven Atar, Aharon Amar, Vicky Peretz, Yisha'ayahu Schwager, Elyaniv Barda, Lior Refaelov, Ronen Harazi, Mu'nas Dabbur, Alon Mizrahi, Oded Machnes, Gidi Damti, Yehoshua Glazer, Yehoshua Feigenbaum.

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in 2018.  I completely redid the entire team in June 2024.  I completely revamped the entire team, resulting in a massive overhaul that brought about substantial changes.
-- Mordechai Spiegler, Eyal Berkovic, Haim Revivo, Eli Ohana, and Uri Malmilian were elected by Israel's Hall of Fame as their five greatest in Israel's history. Mordechai Spiegler was chosen as the greatest football player in Israel.  He was also Israel's choice for their UEFA Jubilee Golden player selected in 2004.
-- In the 1960's, Israel played in AFC, where it was a rival to Iran, South Korea and Republic of China (Hong Kong) for supremacy in Asia.  They were the 1964 AFC Asian Cup Champion. Nahum Stelmach and David Primo are on my all-time team.
-- Israel went to its first World Cup Finals in 1970.  Mordechai Spiegler captained the side.  Zvi Rosen, Giora Spiegel, David Primo and Menachem Bello also went to Mexico that year. The same generation of players also qualified for the 1968 Summer Olympics.
-- After the 1976 Olympics, Israel did not qualify for any major tournament, largely due to boycott by Arab teams while in the AFC.  Israel later played in Oceania and the UEFA
-- This is IFFHS's Israel All-Time Dream team: Ya'akov Hodorov, Tal Ben Haim I, David Primo, Zvi Rosen, Avi Cohen, Haim Revivo and Avi Nimni.
-- The One of Israel also created their All-Time Best XI in 2018.Ya'akov Hodorov, David Primo, Zvi Rosen, Avi Cohen, Menachem Bello, Giora Spiegel, Moshe Sinai, Uri Malmilian, Nahum Stelmach, Yehoshua Glazer and Mordechai Spiegler.
-- In 2021, the Sport 5 came up with their own All-Time Best XI: Ya'akov Hodorov, Alon Harazi, David Primo, Avi Cohen, Moshe Leon, Tal Banin, Eyal Berkovic, Yossi Benayoun, Mordechai Spiegler, Eli Ohana and Eran Zahav.
-- There were four players included in all three "Israel All-Time Best XI" lineups - from IFFHS, the One of Israel, and Sport 5.  They were Ya'akov Hodorov, Avi Cohen, David Primo and Mordechai Spiegler. In addition to the four players who were included on all three "Israel All-Time Best XI" lists, three other individuals were also named to the prestigious team on at least two of the lineups. These players were Zvi Rosen, Giora Spiegel and Uri Malmilian.
-- Israel has had a strong connection with Liverpool Football Club over the years. Avi Cohen was probably the first Israeli player to gain significant international recognition playing club football. His career with Liverpool FC was very well-known. Later, Ronny Rosenthal also made a name for himself in England with Liverpool. He was the first non-British player to command a transfer fee exceeding one million pounds in the English game. Yossi Benayoun had a successful start to his career in Spain and England. He played well during his time with Liverpool, but his career in England after leaving Liverpool received more mixed reviews.
-- Three players also played with NY Cosmos during its prime years. Mordechai Spiegler and David Primo played with them alongside Pele.  Roby Young also played with NY Cosmos, but in the early 1970's.  Recently, Kobi Moyal played with the team after its rebirth.
-- Ya'akov Hodorov is the obvious choice for goalkeepers. In 2006, Hodorov was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution to sports, one of few sportspeople who received this honour. 
Ya'akov Hodorov
-- Avi Ran has legendary status, but his career was cut short. He died at the age of 23. He had that "you'll never know" factor that counted against him. Nevertheless, most Israeli fans remembered fondly for his performance.  I selected him as the second goalkeeper. For the third goalkeeper, it went to Dudu Aouate, who had the best European club experience. He tied Mallorca's record for most appearances for a goalkeeper. In online poll by Sport 5, he was voted as Israel's greatest goalkeeper with 27% of the votes. 
-- Itzhak Vissoker is in the Israel Football Hall of Fame.  He also played in the 1970 World Cup Finals, but Dudu Aouate has established a career in Europe at the highest level of football.  He played an extended career playing in Spain.  Boni Ginzburg also had some experience playing in Europe. He was Chris Woods' backup in Glasgow Rangers.  Nir Davidovich was also considered.
-- Alon Harazi is undoubtedly one of the greatest symbols of Maccabi Haifa.  He spent 19 years playing for them.  In total, he accumulated an astounding 17 team titles over the course of his storied career.  David Primo was one of the first Israeli to play overseas.  He made all "three lists" of Israel's All-Time Best XI.  He also played with Pele in New York Cosmos, which was regarded as a prestigious and commendable achievement.  He also played as a central defender toward the middle of his career. For rightbacks, I took this two. Shraga Bar, Shlomo Shirazi, Avi Cohen of Jersusalem and Eli Dasa were a few of the top rightbacks in Israel's history. They also made Honorable mention.  
-- There were two distinguished fullbacks from Israel both named Avi Cohen. To distinguish between the two Israeli defenders named Avi Cohen, the right-back Avi Cohen mentioned in this context is often referred to as Avi Cohen of Jerusalem. It was during his time playing for Maccabi that Avi Cohen of Jerusalem became teammates with the other more famous Avi Cohen, who was known simply as Avi Cohen. This other Avi Cohen played as a sweeper or left-back, and was the more renowned of the two, as he went on to play for the English club Liverpool FC.  
-- While Avi Cohen primarily served as a libero in Israel, he took on the role of left back during his time at Liverpool. His tenure at Liverpool coincided with the club's peak.  So he faced competition from Alan Kennedy and Richard Money, which limited his playing time.  Nevertheless, his career in England marked a significant milestone for Liverpool and Israel, as he became Liverpool's first foreign player since the mid-1950s when South African goalkeeper Robert Rudham donned the club's colors.  His significance extended beyond his performances on the field, as he was recognized as a pioneer of the game. For the second leftback, I narrowed it down to Moshe Glam, Moshe Leon, David Pizanti, David AmsalemAdoram Kesi and Menachem Bello. Najwan Ghrayib was one of the few Israeli Arab players who represented the Israeli national team.  He briefly played for Aston Villa. The younger generation of fans probably considered Adoram Keisi as Israel's greatest leftback.  However, Menachem Bello was a pioneer as one of the first attacking fullbacks in Israel.  He also played in the 1970 World Cup Finals.  In the end, I took Bello. David Pizanti who spent some time in Europe could not break into the side with Menachem Bello and Avi Cohen ahead of him
-- Tal Ben Haim is Israel's second most capped player.  He spent over 10 seasons playing in England.  He was mainly a central defender, but also played as a rightback. Arik Benado received the most votes for Israel's greatest central defender by an online poll by Israel's Sports Channel 5.  He was even ahead of Tal Ben Haim.  Zvi Rosen was a big part of Israel 1970 World Cup team.  He was on IFHHS Israel's All-Time Best XI.  So I first selected this three.
Arik Benado
-- Then, I took Itzhak Schneor over Amatsia Levkovich.  Schneor was a club legend with Maccabi Tel Aviv in a period dominated by the club. Amatsia Levkovich was the first player to win Israel Player of the Year twice.  He helped Israel to win the 1964 Asian Cup, but he suffered a head injury on the first match.  With Hapoel Tel Aviv, he won the 1967 Asian Club Championship.  However, Schneor appeared to be more famous.  
-- The other notable central defenders included Noah Reznik, Alon Ben Dor, Walid Badir and Haim Bar.
-- Defensive midfielder Tal Banin became the first Israeli to play in Italy's Serie A when he joined Brescia, but his career in Europe had been plagued by injuries.  However, he was voted by Sport 5 as Israel's greatest defensive midfielders by 34% of the votes. I believed David Primo also played as a defensive midfielder.  
-- In 2018, I selected Nir Klinger, but I decided to switch to Bibras Natchp. Most lists tended to favor Klinger over Natcho.  In fact, Natcho was seldom mentioned.  However, he was the top assist provider in the Europa League for the 2013-2014 season and earned a place in the UEFA Europa League Team of the Group Stage in the same season. Additionally, he was recognized as the Central Midfielder of the Season in the Russian Premier League for the 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 seasons. So I also decided to select him because he was a deep lying playmaker who was capable of spraying long passes from the deep.  It is an important position for the team.  He also had 88 caps, which is tied with 4th for Israeli players.  
Bibras Natcho 
-- Nir Klinger spent six seasons with Maccabi Haifa before moving to Maccabi Tel Aviv for eight seasons. He won two Israeli championships with Maccabi Haifa and three championships and another two Israel State Cup with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He played 83 caps for the Israel national football team between 1987 and 1997, and captained the team from August 1992 until March 1997.
-- The other notable Israeli defensive midfielders included Yossi Abukasis, Nir Bitton, Idan Tal and Gal Alberman.
-- Eyal Berkovic, Haim Revivo and Uri Malmilian were elected by Israel's Hall of Fame as three of their five greatest players in Israel's history.  Then, I had to add Yossi Benyoun and Giora Spiegel.  So this team was loaded with attack midfielders, but some of them would be used as side midfielders.  Yossi Benayoun could also play on the right. and Haim Revivo could play on the left.
-- Yossi Benayoun holds the record for the highest number of appearances for the national team (102 games over 19 years), where he netted 24 goals. Additionally, he is the only Israeli player to have had a substantial playing time with top European teams.  During his time with Liverpool FC, he scored the winning goal at the Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid. He won the Europa League with Chelsea (although he did not participate in the final against Benfica in 2013).  He was an attack midfielder who could also operate on the right.
-- Giora Spiegel played in the 1970 Summer Olympics and scored the winning goal against Australia in the qualifying round. He also scored Israel's only goal in the World Cup against Sweden. He had a close partnership with Mordechai Spiegler, earning them the nickname "The Tooth Duo" in the Israeli press.  He was as important as Eyal Berkovic, Haim Revivo and Uri Malmilian.
-- Eyal Berkovic spent 9 seasons playing in Scotland and England. Many people listed him as Israel's greatest ever player. Haim Revivo not only achieved stardom in Europe.  He also did it in a Muslim country with Fenerbahçe as a Jewish player.  He deserved a special place.  He could also operate on the left. 
 Eyal Berkovic 
-- Moshe Sinai, Avi Nimni, Alon Hazan, Itzik Zohar, Reuven Atar could not make the team because of those five players.
-- Aharon Amar is an All-Time great for Maccabi Haifa. Following Israel's impressive 3-3 draw against Juventus, he received an invitation to join the Serie A side. He also played a crucial role in Israel's 1961 famous victory over Yugoslavia in Belgrade, where they triumphed with a 2-1 score. Unfortunately, a tragic accident abruptly ended his career, causing him to be forgotten by many fans. Nevertheless, some Israelis still consider him a legendary figure in Israeli football, although the lack of information limits his recognition. As a result, I only gave him an honorable mention. 
-- Ronny Rosenthal enjoyed a cult status in Liverpool FC.  He was actually ranked at number 76 amongst the "100 Players who Shook the Kop"(Liverpool's greatest players) in 2006.  He could operate as a wing forward, and this team needed a wide player. Ideally, I should take Roby Young, a wide player as well.  He played in the NASL with NY Cosmos, but I did not have enough room to include him. 
-- Mordechai Spiegler is Israel's greatest player.  He was also Israel's choice for UEFA Jubilee Player Award.  He is actually Israel's second highest scorer behind Eran Zahavi.  Eli Ohana was also named as one of the five greatest Israeli players by their Hall of Flame.  The Hall of Flame also chose his goal against Australia in the 1990 World Cup qualification as the most important goal of all time in Israel's history.  In that goal, he dribbled past two defenders and the goalkeepers before scoring.  Then, he ran up to Australia manager Frank Arok who apparently had made antisemitic comments before the game and kissed the Star of David in front him. With KV Mechelen, he also won a Cup Winners Cup.  
-- Eran Zahavi is now Israel All-Time leading scorer. He won the Chinese Football Association Player of the Year twice at a time when good footballers played in China. In 2024, I replaced Yehoshua Feigenbaum with him. Yehoshua Feigenbaum is the all-time leading scorer for Hapoel Tel Aviv with 132 league goals, and a total of 175 goals in all competitions. He was probably the last player dropped.
Eran Zahavi
-- Nahum Stelmach's goal against the Soviet Union and Lev Yashin was considered a defining moment for Israeli football in 1956.  He is considered one of Israeli greatest footballer.
-- In the 1980's, Vicky Peretz played French side RC Strasbourg, before moving to Stade Rennais. I do not have a place left for him on the team.
-- Rifaat Turk holds the distinction of being the first Arab player to represent Israel, making his contribution particularly significant. He receives a special honorable mention for his achievement. Additionally, the names of Alon Mizrahi and Oded Machnes frequently arise in discussions about the greatest Israeli forwards, highlighting their notable impact on the game. Meanwhile, Ronen Harazi and Yehoshua Glazer have also left their mark as noteworthy players in Israeli football.


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