Biton lining up for Israel U21 in 2013
|Date of birth||30 October 1991|
|Place of birth||Ashdod, Israel|
|Height||1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
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 the Israel Defence Forces.
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. He made his debut for the club on 18 September, in a Champions League group stage match against AC Milan, coming in to the game as a late substitute at the 89th minute. Three weeks later he made another Champions League appearance for Celtic, coming as a 77th-minute substitute against Ajax on 22 October, but was sent off eleven minutes later for a late tackle on Thulani Serero. The resulting suspension and a few niggling injuries hindered Biton's efforts to establish himself in the team, but he still managed to make a total of 20 appearances for Celtic by the end of his first season there. Celtic won their third successive league title, and Biton's 15 league appearances saw him pick up his first major honour.
In 2014, Biton angered a 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. First reported in the Daily Record, it featured a long version of a Hebrew blessing.
In 2009, Biton was selected to represent Israel at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, and the team won a bronze medal. He made his senior debut for Israel in a friendly match against Uruguay on 26 May 2010.
- ביטון ניר (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
- "Nir Biton". Football Database. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "Manchester City try to free talented Israeli midfielder from national service". Daily Mail. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Celtic sign Israeli star, Nir Biton". Celtic FC. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- "Games Involving Biton, Nir in season 2013/2014". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "0-2 Vs AC Milan in UEFA Champions League (18/09/2013)". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- 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.
- Cully, Ronnie (13 February 2014). "Biton out for Celtic shot at glory". Evening Times. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "Biton, Nir". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "N. Biton". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "Celtic fans’ anger at Nir Biton’s Israel comments". Scotsman. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "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.
- "סגלי נבחרות ישראל לטורניר הכדורגל של המכביה". Israel Football Association. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- "Nir Biton". National Football Teams. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
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