List of Israeli football champions
The association football champions of Israel are the winners of the highest league in Israeli football, which is currently the Israeli Premier League. The league is contested on a round robin basis and the championship awarded to the team that is top of the league at the end of the season. Having won the 2012–13 competition, Maccabi Tel Aviv are the incumbent champions.
Following the creation of the Eretz Israel Football Association in August 1928, the first nationwide football championship in Mandatory Palestine, the Palestine League, began in November 1931. The Palestine League's last edition was played during the 1946–47 season, and since then the national championship has been played under four names: the Israeli League, from 1949 to 1950; Liga Alef, between 1951 and 1955; Liga Leumit, from 1955 to 1999; and finally, since 1999, the Israeli Premier League.
In all, Maccabi Tel Aviv hold the record for most championships, with 19 titles; they are also the only Israeli club to have never been relegated from the top division. The next most successful teams are Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem, with 13, 12 and six titles respectively.[nb 1] These four sides won every Israeli Premier League title from its inception in 1999 to 2012; due in part to this, they are sometimes described as Israel's "Big Four". While Maccabi and Hapoel Tel Aviv have always been major players in the league championship, the consistent success of Maccabi Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem has been a relatively recent phenomenon, both clubs having won their first title during the 1980s. The longest run of successive titles is five, won by Hapoel Petah Tikva between the 1958–59 and 1962–63 seasons.
- 1 Champions
- 2 Performances
- 3 Footnotes
- 4 References
- 5 External links
|Champions also won the Israel State Cup during the same season (People's Cup before 1948)|
|Champions also won the League Cup during the same season (began play in 1984)|
|(number of titles)||A running tally of the total number of championships won by each club is kept in brackets.|
Palestine League (1931–47)
The inaugural Palestine League title was won by British Police, who finished the season unbeaten and also won the People's Cup to complete the country's first double. Except for Jerusalem-based British Police's initial victory, only clubs from Tel Aviv won the title during the Mandate period; Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv won five and four championships respectively.[nb 1] Because of violent conflicts involving the Yishuv, the competition's scheduling was inconsistent and in some seasons no national championship was held.
- Full league standings and top scorer details not known at this time.
|Season||Winner (number of titles)||Notes|
|1931–32||British Police (1)||–|
|1933–34||Hapoel Tel Aviv (1)||–|
|1934–35||Hapoel Tel Aviv (2)||[nb 1]|
|1935–36||Maccabi Tel Aviv (1)||–|
|1936–37||Maccabi Tel Aviv (2)||–|
|1937–38||Hapoel Tel Aviv (3)||[nb 1]|
|1938–39||No national championship||[nb 2]|
|1939–40||Hapoel Tel Aviv (4)||–|
|1941–42||Maccabi Tel Aviv (3)||–|
|1942–43||Not finished||[nb 3]|
|1943–44||Hapoel Tel Aviv (5)||–|
|1944–45||Hapoel Tel Aviv
Beitar Tel Aviv
|1946–47||Maccabi Tel Aviv (4)||–|
|1947–48||Not Finished||[nb 5]|
|1948||Not Finished||[nb 6]|
Israeli League (1949–50)
Following Israel's creation in 1948, the association dropped "Eretz" from its name and the cup was renamed the Israel State Cup. The league championship was held as the "Israeli League" for one season, in 1949–50; Maccabi Tel Aviv won the title.
|Season||Winner (number of titles)||Runners-up||Third place||Top scorer||Notes|
|1949–50||Maccabi Tel Aviv (5)||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Hapoel Haifa||Merimovich, YosefYosef Merimovich (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||25||–|
Liga Alef (1951–55)
A new top division, Liga Alef started play with the 1951–52 season. It became the second tier of Israeli football in 1955–56, when it was superseded as the top flight by Liga Leumit. Maccabi Tel Aviv won the first two of the championships held under this name, whilst the 1954–55 ended with the championship leaving Tel Aviv for the first time since the first league season, 1931–32; Hapoel Petah Tikva finished the season top of the league while Maccabi and Hapoel Tel Aviv came in second and third place respectively
|Season||Winner (number of titles)||Runners-up||Third place||Player||Goals||Notes|
|1951–52||Maccabi Tel Aviv (6)||Maccabi Petah Tikva||Hapoel Haifa||Glazer, YehoshuaYehoshua Glazer (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||24||–|
|1953–54||Maccabi Tel Aviv (7)||Maccabi Petah Tikva||Hapoel Petah Tikva||Spiegel, EliezerEliezer Spiegel (Maccabi Petah Tikva)||16||–|
|1954–55||Hapoel Petah Tikva (1)||Maccabi Tel Aviv||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Elmaliah, NisimNisim Elmaliah (Beitar Tel Aviv)||30||–|
Liga Leumit (1955–99)
The inaugural Liga Leumit season, 1955–56, ended with the championship won by Maccabi Tel Aviv, which have won two of the next three titles and Hapoel Tel Aviv one. Hapoel Petah Tikva then finished in second place three times in a row, before starting a record run of five successive championship victories. Hapoel Petah Tikva's run of five consecutive titles between the 1958–59 and 1962–63 seasons remains unmatched today. Two Ramat Gan clubs, Hapoel Ramat Gan and Hakoah Ramat Gan, then claimed a title each before Hapoel Tel Aviv took the title back to Tel Aviv at the end of the 1965–66 season. In the 1966–68 season, often referred to as the "double season", the sixteen teams played each other twice at home and twice away during a season lasting two years.
During the 1970s and 1980s, six teams won their first championships; Maccabi Netanya took four titles between 1970 and 1980 while Hapoel Be'er Sheva won two back-to-back in 1974–75 and 1975–76. Hapoel Kfar Saba, Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem and Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv all won their first titles during the 1980s. After Bnei Yehuda's victory in 1989–90, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem dominated the remainder of the top-flight Liga Leumit era, winning every title except the last; the 1998–99 championship was won by first-time victors Hapoel Haifa.
Israeli Premier League (1999–present)
When the Israeli Premier League became the top division of Israeli football in 1999–2000, Liga Leumit became the second division. Since then, only five clubs have won the title; Hapoel Tel Aviv, Ironi Kiryat Shmona, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem. Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem are sometimes referred to as the "Big Four" of Israeli football. Having won seven titles in the league's 13 seasons, the most successful club during this period is Maccabi Haifa; during the same period Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv have won two championships each while Maccabi Tel Aviv have added only one to their total. Although Hapoel Tel Aviv have only finished top of the league twice since 1999—in 1999–2000 and ten years later in 2009–10—they have won the double on both occasions. This achievement was matched by Beitar Jerusalem in 2007–08. Ironi Kiryat Shmona won their first championship during the 2011–12 season, thereby becoming the first northern title-winners. Maccabi Tel Aviv then won back-to-back titles.
Total titles won by club
Fourteen clubs have been champions.
|Maccabi Tel Aviv||20||1935–36, 1936–37, 1941–42, 1946–47, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1957–58, 1966–68,
1969–70, 1971–72, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1991–92, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2002–03, 2012–13, 2013–14
|Hapoel Tel Aviv||13[nb 1]||1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1939–40, 1943–44, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1980–81, 1985–86,
1987–88, 1999–2000, 2009–10
|Maccabi Haifa||12||1983–84, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06,
|Beitar Jerusalem||6||1986–87, 1992–93, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2006–07, 2007–08|
|Hapoel Petah Tikva||6||1954–55, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63|
|Maccabi Netanya||5||1970–71, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1982–83|
|Hapoel Be'er Sheva||2||1974–75, 1975–76|
|Hakoah Ramat Gan||2||1964–65, 1972–73|
|Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv||1||1989–90|
|British Police[nb 9]||1||1931–32|
|Hapoel Kfar Saba||1||1981–82|
|Hapoel Ramat Gan||1||1963–64|
|Ironi Kiryat Shmona||1||2011–12|
Total doubles won by club
Six teams have completed the double by winning the Israeli State Cup during the same season. There have been 14 doubles won in total; the most successful club in this regard is Maccabi Tel Aviv, who have been both league champions and cup winners on six occasions.
|Maccabi Tel Aviv||6||1946–47, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1969–70, 1976–77, 1995–96|
|Hapoel Tel Aviv||4||1933–34, 1937–38, 1999–2000, 2009–10|
Total titles won by city
|City||Number of titles||Title-winning clubs|
|Tel Aviv||34||Maccabi Tel Aviv (20), Hapoel Tel Aviv (13), Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (1)|
|Haifa||13||Maccabi Haifa (12), Hapoel Haifa (1)|
|Jerusalem||7||Beitar Jerusalem (6), British Police (1)|
|Petah Tikva||6||Hapoel Petah Tikva (6)|
|Netanya||5||Maccabi Netanya (5)|
|Ramat Gan||3||Hakoah Ramat Gan (2), Hapoel Ramat Gan (1)|
|Beersheba||2||Hapoel Be'er Sheva (2)|
|Kfar Saba||1||Hapoel Kfar Saba (1)|
|Kiryat Shmona||1||Kiryat Shmona (1)|
Total titles won by district
|District||Number of titles||Title-winning clubs|
|Tel Aviv||37||Maccabi Tel Aviv (20), Hapoel Tel Aviv (13), Hakoah Ramat Gan (2), Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (1), Hapoel Ramat Gan (1)|
|Haifa||13||Maccabi Haifa (12), Hapoel Haifa (1)|
|Center||12||Hapoel Petah Tikva (6), Maccabi Netanya (5), Hapoel Kfar Saba (1)|
|Jerusalem||7||Beitar Jerusalem (6), British Police (1)|
|South||2||Hapoel Be'er Sheva (2)|
|North||1||Kiryat Shmona (1)|
|Judea and Samaria||0||–|
- Because of the inconsistent league programme during the 1930s and 1940s, controversy remains concerning the number of titles won by Hapoel Tel Aviv during that period. The 1934–35 championship was abandoned with Hapoel Tel Aviv leading the standings; at the time it went unawarded but the Israel Football Association today recognises the title. The 1937–38 league season was also abandoned long before its end because of the Arab revolt in Palestine, once more with Hapoel Tel Aviv top of the table. As with the unfinished 1934–35 title, the Israel Football Association today lists the club as having won the 1937–38 crown. Counting both of these titles, Hapoel have five Palestine League championships and 13 in total, but FIFA and UEFA only credit the club with four pre-1948 titles, giving an overall total of 12. The club itself claims to have won 13 titles, five before independence and eight afterwards. This figure is corroborated by the Israel Football Association and Ynet.
- No national championship was held; instead regional leagues took place in each district. Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Tel Aviv district league and British Police won in Jerusalem, but the champions of Haifa are not known.
- During 1942–43, three regional leagues were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. Each regional champion was supposed to enter a three-way mini-league for the national title, but when the Haifa league was abandoned the national championship was reduced to a single match between the champions of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The champions of Jerusalem, Homenetmen, refused to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv, leading Maccabi to be declared national champions by default. Today the title is neither claimed by Maccabi Tel Aviv nor recognised by the Israel Football Association.
- Two regional leagues were held instead of a national championship. Beitar Tel Aviv finished top of the Southern District league while Hapoel Tel Avivwon in the Northern District. The IFA recognize both team as league champions for this season.
- The league was abandoned due to the outbreak of the Israeli War of Independence. The IFA list the league leaders at the time of abandonment, Nordia Tel Aviv as champions for this season.
- The league was formed as a substitution to the Palestine League which was abandoned due to the Israeli War of Independence. The league was abandoned after only a handful of matches were played. The IFA list the league leaders at the time of abandonment, Nordia Tel Aviv as champions for this season.
- During the 1966–68 "double season", Mordechai Spiegler scored 38 goals; counting the two halves of the season separately, he scored 15 during 1966–67 and 23 during 1967–68.
- Maccabi Haifa's final match of the 2000–01 season, at home against Maccabi Tel Aviv, was abandoned after 82 minutes with Maccabi Haifa 3–2 ahead when supporters attempted to invade the pitch, resulting in a crush which injured 41 people. Maccabi Tel Aviv were awarded a 2–0 victory.
- British Police ceased to exist along its parent organisation, the Palestine Police Force, in 1948.
- Champions sourced to: "List of Champions" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Second and third placed teams sourced to: Bleicher, Yaniv (2008-07-03). "Israel – List of Final Tables". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Top goalscorers sourced to: Bleicher, Yaniv (2011-07-15). "Israel – Leading Goalscorers". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "History: Ironi Kiryat Shmona is the 2011–12 Israeli Premier League champions". One. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
- Kaufman, Haim; Galily, Yair (January 2008). "The early development of Hebrew football in Eretz Israel, 1910–1928" (PDF). Soccer & Society (Israel Football Association) 9 (1): 11. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "About the Club". Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- Stokkermans, Karel (2011-04-21). "Coventric!". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
- Bleicher (May 2011).
- Sinai, Allon (2011-07-20). "Local Soccer: Season schedule released". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- Goldberg, Asher (2011-04-28). "Meet the first champions – the British Police of Jerusalem" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Goldberg, Asher (2010-07-29). "The Tel Aviv Derbies in December 1935 and '36" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Bleicher (2008).
- "List of Champions". Israel Football Association.
- "Tamuz: Israeli heart, Nigerian blood". FIFA. 2011-04-21. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.". UEFA. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Club Records". Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- "Hapoel Tel Aviv win the championship". Ynet (in Hebrew). 2010-05-15. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- "Titles" (in Hebrew). Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- Shohat, Elisha (2006). 100 Years of Football 1906-2006. pp. 132–134.
- Last, Jeremy (2008-03-13). "Sporting Heroes: No. 49 Nahum Stelmach". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- Regev, Noam; Glazer, Yossi (2011-02-10). "Double season, sextet and two meetings in the national league. Nostalgia for eighth cup final" (in Hebrew). Hapoel Haifa F.C. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
- Bleicher, Yaniv (2001-09-13). "Israel 2000/01". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Adar, Shaul (October 2010). "Walid objection". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- Helders, Stefan. "Israel: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Retrieved 2011-08-24.