Israel national football team

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Israel
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) הכחולים-לבנים (The Blues and Whites)
Association Israel Football Association (IFA)
Confederation UEFA (Europe) (1991–present)
no confederation (1974–91)
AFC (Asia) (1954–74)
Head coach Eli Guttman
Captain Tal Ben Haim
Most caps Yossi Benayoun (96)
Top scorer Mordechai Spiegler (33)
Home stadium Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem
FIFA code ISR
FIFA ranking 45 Increase 19 (23 October 2014)
Highest FIFA ranking 15 (November 2008)
Lowest FIFA ranking 82 (July 2012, August 2012, October 2012)
Elo ranking 51
Highest Elo ranking 23 (4 April 1976)
Lowest Elo ranking 80 (February 1968)
First colours
Second colours
First international
Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel:
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Israel:
United States USA Olympic Team 3–1 Israel 
(New York, United States; 26 September 1948)
Biggest win
 Israel 9–0 Chinese Taipei 
(Wellington, New Zealand; 23 March 1988)
Biggest defeat
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
 Germany 7–1 Israel 
(Kaiserslautern, Germany; 12 February 2002)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1970)
Best result Group Stage, 1970
AFC Asian Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1956)
Best result Champions, 1964

The Israel national football team (Hebrew: נבחרת ישראל בכדורגל‎, Nivḥeret Yisra'el BeKhaduregel) is the national football team of Israel, governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Israel's national team is the direct successor of the Mandatory Palestine national team, during the British Mandate. Israel has competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in three different confederations, competing in the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation before settling in Europe as a member of the Union of European Football Associations in 1994.

The Israeli side qualified for their only FIFA World Cup to date in 1970. Israel also hosted and won the AFC Asian Cup in 1964, and was finalist in 1956 and 1960.

History[edit]

Football has a long and rich tradition in Israel. The game was originally introduced during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian Football Association was formed in August 1928, and joined FIFA in June 1929, but at the time the association was made up of Arab clubs, Jewish clubs, and clubs representing British policemen and soldiers serving in the region during the British Mandate rule that spanned the period between World War One and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The British Mandate of Palestine national team made its debut against Egypt in 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, losing 1–7 in Cairo. The team played five international matches, including a friendly match against Lebanon, until the British Mandate for Palestine was dissolved.

Upon the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948, the IFA became the official association of the new state. The Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the USA Olympic Team. The game was won by the USA 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.

Asian Football Confederation membership[edit]

Nahum Stelmach (on left); 1959

Israel competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) between 1954 and 1974. Due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel. The political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales to ensure the team did not qualify without playing at least one game (which Wales won).

Israel hosted and won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup. In 1968, Israel went to their first Olympic Games and lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals.

In 1969, Israel qualified for its first and only FIFA World Cup, via Asia/Oceania, and earned two points after draws with Sweden and finalist Italy, and a loss to Uruguay.

In 1976, Israel went to its second Olympic Games and lost in the quarterfinals again, this time against Brazil. In 1972 and 1977, it attempted World Cup qualification as part of Asia, which both times ended in failure.

Years in exile[edit]

In 1974, Israel was excluded from AFC competitions, as a result of a proposal by Kuwait which was adopted by a vote of 17 to 13 with 6 abstentions.[1] The vote coincided with the 1974 Asian Games, where the football competition was marred by the refusal of both North Korea[2] and Kuwait to play second-round matches against Israel.

During the 1980s, it played the majority of its matches against European teams, and competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, it entered Oceania's qualification stage. In 1989, Israel made it to the CONMEBOL–OFC play-offs for the 1990 World Cup to play against Colombia, which qualified from the South American group, but lost (1–0, 0–0).

European Football Confederation membership[edit]

In 1991, Israeli clubs began participating in European club competitions, and Israel returned to the European leg of World Cup qualifying in 1992. In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership, 20 years after it had left Asia. Within Europe, Israel has been a relatively minor nation, though with some successes, notably winning 3–2 in Paris against France in 1993, and 5–0 against Austria in 1999. That year, Israel made it to the playoffs of UEFA Euro 2000, but was beaten by Denmark.

Israel came close to advancing to the playoff stage in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, finishing third, behind France, and tied on points with Switzerland, which also remained unbeaten in 10 matches after 4 wins and 6 draws. The Swiss had a better goal difference, though, and advanced to the qualification play-off. Coach Avram Grant announced his resignation on 26 October 2005. After the end of his contract, he was succeeded by Dror Kashtan.

In UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Israel finished fourth in Group E, behind Croatia, Russia, and England, respectively. The 4–3 home loss to Croatia was the first loss after 13 consecutive official games and 9 home games without a loss.

In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Israel again came in fourth, behind Switzerland, Greece, and Latvia. For the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Kashtan was replaced as coach by Frenchman Luis Fernández, but to no avail, as Israel finished a distant third behind Greece and Croatia.

The continued presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to justify its transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation.

Stadium[edit]

Main article: Ramat Gan Stadium
Ramat Gan Stadium

The Israel national football team's home stadium is the national stadium in Ramat Gan. The stadium seats 41,583 and is the only stadium in Israel which is in a world-class standard. The stadium is mixed-use, fit for athletic competitions alongside its more popular usage as a football stadium when it hosts Israel international football matches and the UEFA Champions League games of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa in the 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons, respectively.

Competition history[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Enter
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
(as Eretz Israel Team)
2 0 0 2 2 11
France 1938 2 0 0 2 1 4
Brazil 1950 Did Not Qualify 2 0 0 2 2 11
Switzerland 1954 4 0 0 4 0 5
Sweden 1958 2 0 0 2 0 4
Chile 1962 6 3 1 2 13 14
England 1966 4 0 0 4 1 12
Mexico 1970 Group Stage 12th 3 0 2 1 1 3 4 3 1 0 8 1
West Germany 1974 Did Not Qualify 5 3 1 1 5 3
Argentina 1978 5 2 1 1 5 3
Spain 1982 8 1 3 4 6 10
Mexico 1986 6 3 1 2 17 6
Italy 1990 6 1 4 1 5 5
United States 1994 10 1 3 6 10 27
France 1998 8 4 1 3 9 7
South Korea Japan 2002 8 3 3 2 11 7
Germany 2006 10 4 6 0 15 10
South Africa 2010 10 4 4 2 20 10
Brazil 2014 10 3 5 2 19 14
Russia 2018 To Be Determined
Qatar 2022
Total Group Stage 1/20 3 0 2 1 1 3 102 33 29 40 137 149
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Olympic record[edit]

Olympics Record
Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Finland 1952 Did Not Qualify
Australia 1956
Italy 1960
Japan 1964
Mexico 1968 Quarter-finals 4 2 0 2 9 7
Germany 1972 Did Not Qualify
Canada 1976 Quarter-finals 4 0 3 1 4 7
Soviet Union 1980 Withdrew
United States 1984 Did Not Qualify
South Korea 1988
Total Quarter-finals 2/10 8 2 3 3 13 14

Since the 1992 Summer Olympics, the football competition is played as an Under-23 competition

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Asian Cup record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
Hong Kong 1956 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 6 5
South Korea 1960 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 6 4
Israel 1964 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 5 1
Iran 1968 Third Place 3rd 4 2 0 2 11 5
Thailand 1972 Withdrew
Total Champions 4/15 13 9 0 4 28 15

Israel did not compete in a regional competition between the years 1968 and 1994, although in 1972 they were scheduled to compete in the AFC Asian Cup.

*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

UEFA European Championship record[edit]

UEFA European Championship record UEFA European Championship Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D * L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
1960–1992 Did Not Enter
England 1996 Did Not Qualify 10 3 3 4 13 13
Belgium Netherlands 2000 8 4 1 3 25 9
Portugal 2004 8 2 3 3 9 11
Austria Switzerland 2008 12 7 2 3 20 12
Poland Ukraine 2012 10 5 1 4 13 11
France 2016 To Be Determined To Be Determined
Total 0/14 48 21 10 17 80 56
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

2014 FIFA World Cup[edit]

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group F[edit]

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Russia 10 7 1 2 20 5 +15 22
 Portugal 10 6 3 1 20 9 +11 21
 Israel 10 3 5 2 19 14 +5 14
 Azerbaijan 10 1 6 3 7 11 −4 9
 Northern Ireland 10 1 4 5 9 17 −8 7
 Luxembourg 10 1 3 6 7 26 −19 6
  Azerbaijan Israel Luxembourg Northern Ireland Portugal Russia
Azerbaijan  1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1
Israel  1–1 3–0 1–1 3–3 0–4
Luxembourg  0–0 0–6 3–2 1–2 0–4
Northern Ireland  1–1 0–2 1–1 2–4 1–0
Portugal  3–0 1–1 3–0 1–1 1–0
Russia  1–0 3–1 4–1 2–0 1–0


UEFA Euro 2016[edit]

UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group B[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification result Israel Wales Cyprus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Andorra
1  Israel 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 9 Advance to final tournament 28 Mar '15 10 Oct '15 31 Mar '15 3–0 3 Sep '15
2  Wales 4 2 2 0 4 2 +2 8 6 Sep '15 2–1 12 Jun '15 0–0 13 Oct '15
3  Cyprus 4 2 0 2 9 5 +4 6 Final tournament or play-offs 1–2 3 Sep '15 6 Sep '15 13 Oct '15 5–0
4  Belgium 3 1 2 0 7 1 +6 5 13 Oct '15 0–0 28 Mar '15 3 Sep '15 6–0
5  Bosnia-Herzegovina 4 0 2 2 2 6 −4 2 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '15 1–2 1–1 6 Sep '15
6  Andorra 4 0 0 4 2 17 −15 0 1–4 1–2 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '15 28 Mar '15
Updated to match(es) played on 16 November 2014. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

As of 26 February 2014[4]
Position Name Nationality
Head coach Eli Guttman  Israel
Assistant Manager Arik Benado  Israel
Assistant Manager Yossi Abuksis  Israel
Goalkeeper Coach Giora Antman  Israel
Fitness coach Ron Tziblin  Israel
Mental coach Alon Olman  Israel
Business Manager Israel Shchuchinski  Israel
Head Doctor Mark Rosnovsky  Israel

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Bosnia and Herzegovina on 14 November 2014.
Caps and goals updated as of 16 November 2014 after the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
18 1GK Ofir Martziano (1989-10-07) 7 October 1989 (age 25) 3 0 Israel Ashdod
23 1GK Guy Haimov (1986-02-09) 9 February 1986 (age 28) 1 0 Israel Ironi Kiryat Shmona
1 1GK Boris Klaiman (1990-10-26) 26 October 1990 (age 24) 0 0 Israel Beitar Jerusalem
3 2DF Tal Ben Haim I (Captain) (1982-03-31) 31 March 1982 (age 32) 83 1 England Charlton Athletic
5 2DF Rami Gershon (1988-08-12) 12 August 1988 (age 26) 19 2 Belgium Gent
21 2DF Eitan Tibi (1987-11-16) 16 November 1987 (age 27) 19 0 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
2 2DF Eyal Meshumar (1983-08-10) 10 August 1983 (age 31) 10 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa
20 2DF Omri Ben Harush (1990-03-04) 4 March 1990 (age 24) 8 0 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
15 2DF Ofir Davidzada (1991-05-05) 5 May 1991 (age 23) 4 0 Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva
19 2DF Oded Elkayam (1988-02-09) 9 February 1988 (age 26) 0 0 Israel Ironi Kiryat Shmona
6 3MF Bibras Natkho (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 26) 36 1 Russia CSKA Moscow
9 3MF Lior Refaelov (1986-04-26) 26 April 1986 (age 28) 33 5 Belgium Club Brugge
14 3MF Gil Vermouth (1985-08-05) 5 August 1985 (age 29) 26 2 Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv
7 3MF Eran Zahavi (1987-07-25) 25 July 1987 (age 27) 23 3 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
16 3MF Maor Buzaglo (1988-01-14) 14 January 1988 (age 26) 16 1 Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva
13 3MF Sheran Yeini (1986-12-08) 8 December 1986 (age 27) 12 0 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
12 3MF Tal Ben Haim II (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 (age 25) 11 2 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
4 3MF Nir Bitton (1991-10-30) 30 October 1991 (age 23) 10 0 Scotland Celtic
3MF Roi Kahat (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Israel Ironi Kiryat Shmona
10 4FW Elyaniv Barda (1981-12-15) 15 December 1981 (age 32) 35 12 Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva
17 4FW Ben Sahar (1989-08-10) 10 August 1989 (age 25) 33 6 Netherlands Willem II
11 4FW Itay Shechter (1987-02-22) 22 February 1987 (age 27) 24 5 France Nantes
22 4FW Omer Damari (1989-03-24) 24 March 1989 (age 25) 17 9 Austria Austria Wien
8 4FW Tomer Hemed (1987-05-02) 2 May 1987 (age 27) 15 10 Spain Almería
4FW Moanes Dabour (1992-05-14) 14 May 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Switzerland Grasshopper

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the Israeli squad on the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
DF Taleb Tawatha (1992-06-21) 21 June 1992 (age 22) 4 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Andorra, 13 October 2014
DF Hatem Abd Elhamed (1991-03-18) 18 March 1991 (age 23) 0 0 Israel Ashdod v.  Cyprus, 10 October 2014
DF Yuval Spungin (1987-04-03) 3 April 1987 (age 27) 27 0 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
DF Orel Dgani (1989-01-08) 8 January 1989 (age 25) 2 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
DF Avi Rikan (1988-09-10) 10 September 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Switzerland Zürich v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
DF Shai Haddad (1987-07-02) 2 July 1987 (age 27) 0 0 Romania Petrolul Ploiești v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
MF Yossi Benayoun (1980-05-05) 5 May 1980 (age 34) 96 24 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
MF Beram Kayal (1988-05-02) 2 May 1988 (age 26) 26 1 Scotland Celtic v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
MF Kobi Moyal (1987-06-12) 12 June 1987 (age 27) 1 0 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
MF Maor Melikson (1984-10-30) 30 October 1984 (age 30) 18 3 Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva v.  Slovakia, 5 March 2014
MF Maharan Radi (1982-07-01) 1 July 1982 (age 32) 10 1 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv v.  Slovakia, 5 March 2014
MF Hen Ezra (1989-01-19) 19 January 1989 (age 25) 9 1 Israel Maccabi Haifa v.  Slovakia, 5 March 2014
FW Toto Tamuz (1988-04-01) 1 April 1988 (age 26) 10 2 Romania Petrolul Ploiești v.  Cyprus, 10 October 2014
FW Eden Ben Basat (1986-09-08) 8 September 1986 (age 28) 13 7 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv v.  Honduras, 1 June 2014
FW Ahmed Abed (1990-03-30) 30 March 1990 (age 24) 0 0 Israel Ironi Kiryat Shmona v.  Slovakia, 5 March 2014

Notes:

  • Injured Injured or recovering from surgery
  • (ret.) Retired from the national team
  • Disqualified Disqualified

Previous squads[edit]

Player history[edit]

Managers[edit]

Manager Years as manager Pld
W
D
L
GF GA Win%[5]
Austria Egon Pollak 1948 1 0 0 1 0 1 00.00
Austria Israel Lajos Hess 1949 3 1 0 2 5 12 33.33
Hungary Vladislav Scali 1950 2 1 0 1 7 4 50.00
Israel Jerry Beit haLevi 1953–54 5 0 0 5 1 7 00.00
England Jack Gibbons 1956 5 2 0 3 7 12 40.00
Israel Jerry Beit haLevi 1957 1 0 0 1 4 5 00.00
Israel Moshe Varon 1958 5 2 0 3 6 7 40.00
Hungary Gyula Mándi 1959–63 31 12 7 12 49 63 38.71
England George Ainsley 1963–64 3 2 0 1 4 2 66.67
Israel Yosef Merimovich 1964 1 0 0 1 0 4 00.00
Hungary Gyula Mándi 1964 3 3 0 0 5 1 100.000
Israel Yosef Merimovich 1964–65 3 1 0 2 2 2 33.33
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milovan Ćirić 1965–68 25 8 2 15 43 45 32.00
Israel Emmanuel Scheffer 1968–70 24 8 8 8 44 34 33.33
Romania Israel Edmond Schmilovich 1970–73 19 10 4 5 27 13 52.63
Israel David Schweitzer 1973–77 36 17 11 8 67 34 47.22
Israel Emmanuel Scheffer 1978–79 13 5 4 4 17 15 38.46
England Jack Mansell 1980–81 10 2 3 5 8 12 20.00
Israel Yosef Merimovich 1983–86 27 8 9 10 39 36 29.63
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Miljenko Mihić 1986–88 20 4 5 11 27 35 20.00
Israel Itzhak Schneor
Israel Ya'akov Grundman
1988–92 18 5 5 8 21 30 27.78
Israel Shlomo Scharf 1992–2000 82 31 18 33 131 118 37.80
Denmark Richard Møller Nielsen 2000–02 20 7 4 9 29 33 35.00
Israel Avram Grant 2002–06 33 14 13 6 55 37 42.42
Israel Dror Kashtan 2006–10 31 15 10 6 51 30 48.39
Israel Eli Ohana (caretaker) 2010 1 1 0 0 2 0 100.000
France Spain Luis Fernández 2010–2011 15 6 1 8 12 18 40.00
Israel Eli Guttman 2011– 23 8 6 9 38 35 34.78

WDL Record since 1948[edit]

Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Israel 1948 2014 460 173 110 177 37.61

Honours[edit]

Winners (1): 1964
Runners-up (2): 1956, 1960

Kit suppliers[edit]

Israel's kits were supplied by Puma from 1996 to 2008. Adidas took over in September 2008 and have remained Israel's kit suppliers since.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aust-Asian bid fails". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1974-09-16. p. 11. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  2. ^ Rahman, Mansoor (1974-09-14). "'Visibles' win without any kick...". New Straits Times. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-07-10. 
  3. ^ "Israël-België niet op 9 september, maar in maart 2015" (in Dutch). Sporza. 26 Aug 2014. Retrieved 26 Aug 2014. 
  4. ^ "National team staff". Israel Football Association. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places

External links[edit]