Nir Bitton

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Nir Biton
Nir Biton Euro U-21 2013.jpg
Biton lining up for Israel U21 in 2013
Personal information
Date of birth (1991-10-30) 30 October 1991 (age 23)
Place of birth Ashdod, Israel
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Playing position Defensive Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Celtic
Number 6
Youth career
?–2009 FC Ashdod
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 FC Ashdod 123 (14)
2013– Celtic 25 (1)
National team
2008 Israel U17 5 (0)
2009 Israel U18 2 (0)
2009 Israel U19 15 (0)
2010–2013 Israel U21 19 (2)
2010– Israel 10 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 November 2014

Nir Biton (or Nir Bitton, Hebrew: ניר ביטון‎; born 30 October 1991) is an Israeli professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Scottish Premiership club Celtic and the Israel national football team. Prior to his professional football career, he served in Israel Defence Forces.[1]

Career[edit]

Celtic[edit]

On 30 August 2013, Biton signed a four-year deal with Scottish Premiership club Celtic, for a fee of around £700,000 and a 20% sell on clause for Israeli Premier League club FC Ashdod.[2] He made his debut for the club on 18 September 2013, in a Champions League group stage match against AC Milan, coming in to the game as a late substitute at the 89th minute.[3][4] Three weeks later he made another Champions League appearance for Celtic, coming as a 77th minute substitute gainst Ajax on 22 October, but was sent off eleven minutes later for a late tackle on Thulani Serero.[3][5] The resulting suspension and a few niggling injuries hindered Biton's efforts to establish himself in the team,[6] but he still managed to make a total of 20 appearances for Celtic by the end of his first season there.[7] Celtic won their third successive league title, and Biton's 15 league appearances saw him pick up his first major honour.[6][8]

Controversy[edit]

In 2014, Biton managed to anger the Pro-Palestinian group of fans within the Celtic support after posting a picture on his Instagram page appearing to support his fellow countrymen serving in the Israel Defense Forces during the Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.[9] First reported in the Daily Record, it featured a long version of a Hebrew blessing. [10]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Celtic

International career[edit]

In 2009, Biton was selected to represent Israel at the 2009 Maccabiah Games.[11] He made his senior debut for Israel in a friendly match against Uruguay on 26 May 2010.[12]

References[edit]

  • ביטון ניר (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  • "Nir Biton". Football Database. Retrieved 2012-07-18. 

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Manchester City try to free talented Israeli midfielder from national service". Daily Mail. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Celtic sign Israeli star, Nir Biton". Celtic FC. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Games Involving Biton, Nir in season 2013/2014". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "0-2 Vs AC Milan in UEFA Champions League (18/09/2013)". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  5. ^ McGowan, Stephen (22 October 2013). "Celtic 2 Ajax 1: Lennon's 10 men seal victory after goals from Forrest and Kayal". Mail Online. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Cully, Ronnie (13 February 2014). "Biton out for Celtic shot at glory". Evening Times. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Biton, Nir". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "N. Biton". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Celtic fans’ anger at Nir Biton’s Israel comments". Scotsman. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Celtic star Nir Biton sparks fury on Instagram by supporting Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Palestine". Daily Record. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "סגלי נבחרות ישראל לטורניר הכדורגל של המכביה". Israel Football Association. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Nir Biton". National Football Teams. Retrieved 1 September 2014.