Aouate playing with Mallorca in 2012
|Full name||David Aouate|
|Date of birth||17 October 1977|
|Place of birth||Nazareth Illit, Israel|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|1995–1996||→ Hapoel Nazareth Illit (loan)||3||(0)|
|1997–1998||Maccabi Tel Aviv||1||(0)|
|2006–2008||Deportivo La Coruña||66||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
After playing for several clubs in his country, most notably Hapoel Haifa, he moved to Spain in 2003, going on to represent Racing de Santander, Deportivo La Coruña and Mallorca for a total of 303 La Liga games.
Aouate was born in Nazareth Illit, Israel, to a Jewish family. He began his career at Maccabi Haifa F.C. where he had also played youth football, as an understudy to Nir Davidovich. Wanting first-team action, he was loaned to Hapoel Nazareth Illit F.C. but never got a real chance until he transferred to Hapoel Haifa FC, having been assured that he would be the club's first-choice, but he again found himself struggling to establish himself as such.
Early in the 1998–99 season, however, the team's regular, Avi Peretz, was injured, and Aouate took his place. Hapoel eventually won the championship that year and he was praised for his performances; by the time Peretz recovered, Aouate was irreplaceable.
Aouate's performances for Hapoel saw him get called up to the Israel national team in 1999. In the 2001–02 campaign he returned to Maccabi Haifa as a cover for Davidovich, who was seriously injured, and the team went on to win the Premier League as he established himself as the undisputed starter.
In 2002–03, Aouate was the starter as Maccabi played in the UEFA Champions League, the first time an Israeli side made it to the group stage of the competition. Haifa finished in third place in their group following a historic victory over powerhouse Manchester United, finishing runners-up in the league to Maccabi Tel Aviv; his solid performances earned him a transfer to European football, with Spanish club Racing de Santander signing him on 17 July 2003.
Aouate's move to Spain was made easier by the fact that he obtained a French passport, thus not counting as a foreigner. After forcing his way into the starting line-up in 2004–05 due to Ricardo's loan return to Manchester United – going on to play 74 games out of 76 in his final two years – he signed a four-year contract with fellow La Liga side Deportivo de La Coruña in August 2006, in a swap deal involving three players plus €1.5 million. He quickly paid back the confidence of his new club with an excellent season, appearing in all 38 matches; Don Balón, a Spanish football magazine, placed him eighth on their list of La Liga's Footballer of the Year in 2007.
In 2007–08's January winter transfer window, after losing first-choice status to Gustavo Munúa, both goalkeepers were involved in a post-training punching session that resulted in both being suspended for the match against Villarreal CF, as well as subsequent league games. In February, due to B-team keeper Fabri's inexperience, both players were reinstated in the squad, with the Israeli regaining starting duties.
In late December, as he had been training separately with Munúa, not being part of Depor manager Miguel Ángel Lotina's plans, Aouate signed with RCD Mallorca for approximately €1 million until June 2011, as the Balearic Islands club was struggling in the league and dealing with an injury to first-choice Miguel Ángel Moyà. He made his debut on 8 January 2009, in a 3–1 win over UD Almería for the campaign's Copa del Rey; four days later, with Moyà still injured, he appeared in a 0–3 league loss at Real Madrid.
In June 2009, Moyà left for Valencia CF and Aouate became the automatic first-choice. In February 2013, he tied Mallorca's record for most appearances for a goalkeeper, and announced his retirement on 8 August 2014 at the age of 36. After his retirement he became the club's major shareholder, after buying Biel Cerdà and Lorenzo Serra Ferrer's shares, and was named general manager on 11 August.
Yom Kippur controversy
In an interview with Spain's Diario AS, Aouate was asked about the significance of Yom Kippur and some general questions about the prohibitions of the holiday. He added that he understood that playing football in this holiday was not allowed, but stated that if forced to play against Real Sociedad, in a September 2006 match, he would; his comments swirled a huge controversy in Israel with even a member of the Shas party calling for the player to be removed from the national team.
In December 2009, during a match between Osasuna and Mallorca, Aouate was subjected to antisemitic chants coming from the Navarrese supporters – additionally, they waved Palestinian flags and called him "a murderer". The Royal Spanish Football Federation set up an inquiry into the incident, this being already the second time the player faced such abuse (the previous occurrence also being against Osasuna in 2006, while he was with Deportivo).
Aouate's strong domestic form earned him his first Israel call-ups, and his debut occurred on 10 October 1999 in a 0–3 away loss against Spain for the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifiers. Since then, he became an integral member of the national team set-up.
- Hapoel Haifa
- Maccabi Haifa
- Israel goalkeeper Aouate announces retirement; UEFA.com, 8 August 2014
- Maccabi celebrate famous victory; UEFA.com, 29 October 2002
- Awat races to Racing; UEFA.com, 18 July 2003
- Awate joy, Diané despair; UEFA.com, 9 August 2006
- Deportivo keepers axed after fight; CNN, 11 January 2008
- El Mallorca cierra con el Depor la compra de Aouate (Mallorca agree to Aouate purchase with Depor); Marca, 28 December 2008 (in Spanish)
- "El Mallorca aparca su crisis" [Mallorca park crisis] (in Spanish). El País. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "El Real Madrid flota sobre un náufrago" [Real Madrid float over a shipwreck] (in Spanish). Marca. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- "¿Sabías que Aouate es el portero con más partidos disputados en Primera con el Mallorca?" [Did you know Aouate is the goalkeeper with the most matches played in Primera with Mallorca?] (in Spanish). RCDM. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Aouate se hace con el control del Mallorca (Aouate takes control of Mallorca); Última Hora, 7 August 2014 (in Spanish)
- Aouate consensuará con Nadal el proyecto deportivo del Mallorca (Aouate to team with Nadal in Mallorca's sporting project); Marca, 11 August 2014 (in Spanish)
- Awat sparks storm with decision to play on Yom Kippur; Haaretz, 25 September 2006
- "Basques look to return to home dominance". Breaking Football News. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Israeli goalkeeper says no to playing on Yom Kippur". YouTube. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Spanish soccer fans chant anti-Semitic slogans at Israeli goalkeeper". Haaretz. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009.
- "España cierra la fase de clasificación ganando a Israel y con 40 goles en ocho partidos" [Spain close qualifying stage defeating Israel and with 40 goals in eight matches] (in Spanish). El Mundo. 10 October 1999. Retrieved 12 November 2017.