Home > Israelis Abroad, Review of Individual Players, UEFA Champions League > Israeli Players Make Poor Choices

Israeli Players Make Poor Choices

Over the past year I have been covering Israeli’s playing abroad and a noticeable and worrying trend has developed. Every week, Roughly 75% of these players, some of whom are supposed to be Israel’s best players, have not been starting or have been getting limited minutes. Currently there are 39 Israeli players abroad excluding youth players.  That is a large number of players which should be concerning to any fan of Israeli football. So what is this reason for such a low rate of starters?  The main problem is poor selection of teams by Agents and Players. An example of this is the transfer of Eran Zahavi to Palermo. Palermo is in the Serie A, one of the top four leagues in Europe and in the World.  Zahavi has struggled for playing time yet anyone that has watched him knows he is a talented player. What has been his issue? Although Zahavi is talented, the conditioning, speed and physical aspects of the Italian League are far above what the average Israeli player is used to. Indeed most Israeli players going straight from Israel to a top four league in Europe have struggled. In essence, Israeli players and agents have ignored this aspect of higher level football in search of big contracts and the glamour of signing with team’s from major leagues in Europe. Israeli players should be targeting league’s like Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal where they will have a chance to adapt, but won’t be overwhelmed physically. There are already 12 Israeli players in these leagues, and this is where they have found the most success.  Let me know your opinion…

  1. April 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Good day and Happy Passover!

    I’m very impressed with your covering of the Israeli players playing abroad, I am managing the Facebook page of the Israeli “ligioners”, where we update on all the news and statistics, and most importantly + highlights clips of all goals and assists.

    you are welcome to join and share! 🙂



    • snowbozo21
      April 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Pesach Sameach, Thanks Nadav, I try to be knowledgeable about Israeli football, If you have any friends that are English speakers, let them know about my blog…

  2. Marc
    April 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I agree, many of the younger players opt to join big clubs (Asulin-Man City, Sahar-Chelsea, Biton-on the brink of Man City) instead of following Yossi Benayoun’s route. Yossi trained with Ajax then went back to Israel before moving to a small club in Spain then a small club in England before making it big.

    Sahar excelled in Netherlands and now plays out of position in France but still shows promise, Rafaelov excels in Belgium, Natcho is a star in Russia and Kayal is a cornerstone of Celtic.

    The Netherlands is the best league for youngsters to develop and more Israelis should ply their game there before moving to the bench of big clubs.

    • snowbozo21
      April 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      I couldn’t have said it any better myself, I wish Zahavi and was at club like Ajax or PSV, he could do well there..

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