Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.

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Hapoel Tel Aviv
הפועל תל אביב
Hapoel Tel Aviv football.Logo.png
Full nameHapoel Tel-Aviv Football Club
מועדון כדורגל הפועל תל אביב
Nickname(s)The Red Demons השדים האדומים
The Workers הפועלים
Founded1923; 96 years ago (1923)
GroundHaMoshava Stadium[1] (2016-2019)
OwnerNisanov Group
ChairmanRobi Regev
ManagerNisso Avitan
LeagueIsraeli Premier League
2018–19Israeli Premier League, 8th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Hapoel Tel-Aviv Football Club (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל הפועל תל-אביב , Moadon Kaduregel Hapoel Tel Aviv) is an Israeli football club based in Tel Aviv, that competes in the Ligat Ha'al. The club's traditional home ground is Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa, but due to renovation the team temporarily plays at HaMoshava Stadium. To date, the club has won thirteen championships and sixteen State Cups. In 1967 Hapoel Tel Aviv became the first club to win the Asian Club Championships.

Since 1995 the club has competed in European club competitions, and has the highest rank among all Israeli clubs, with some outstanding achievements, such as wins against Chelsea, Milan, Hamburg, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Rangers, and Celtic. It is also one of only 3 Israeli teams to have qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and one of the two which are ordinary members of the European Club Association.

The club name, "Hapoel", translates to "The Worker", and combined with its red Hammer and sickle badge represents the club ties to Marxism, Socialism, and the working class. For seven decades, the club was owned by the Histadrut, Israel's national trade union center.



Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. was originally established in 1923, but was disbanded soon after. The club was re-formed in 1925, and then for a third time in May 1926.[3] In 1927 the club merged with Allenby F.C., giving the club its modern form. It is part of the Hapoel sports association which was affiliated with the Histadrut, and supporters of the club were often referred to as communists.[4]

In 1928 the club reached the Palestine Cup final (the first one to be recognised by the Israel Football Association). Although they beat Maccabi Hasmonean Jerusalem 2–0, Hapoel fielded an ineligible player, resulting in the cup being shared.[5]

The 1933–34 saw the club win the double,[6] finishing as champions of the Palestine League, winning every match, the only Israeli club to have achieved such a feat,[3] and winners of the cup, beating local rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv 3–2 in the final. The 1934–35 season saw Hapoel led the league table, but the championship was abandoned and they were not declared champions.[6] The 1937–38 season ended the same way, with Hapoel top of the league, but the season abandoned. In the meantime, the club won the cup again in 1937, 1938 and 1939, and remain the only club to have won the trophy in three successive seasons (although the Royal Air Force won it four years in a row between 1924 and 1927, pre-1928 wins are not recognised by the IFA).

In 1939–40 they won their second championship. The following season no national championships were held, but the club won the tournament for Hapoel-affiliated clubs. They won a third championship in the 1943–44 season, and in the following year won the northern region league,[6] as well as what became known as the "War Cup", which was boycotted by Beitar-affiliated clubs. In the cup final Hapoel were leading Hapoel Petah Tikva 1–0, but the match was abandoned on 89 minutes when a Petah Tikva player refused to leave the pitch after being sent off for insulting the referee.[5]


Pyrotechnics at the Tel Aviv derby, 2005–06

Following Israeli independence, Hapoel joined the new Israeli League. They won the title in 1956–57 and the State Cup in 1961, beating Hapoel Petah Tikva 2–1.

In the 1965–66 season Hapoel won the title, and qualified for the first Asian Club Championships. In the tournament Hapoel were given byes all the way to the final, where they beat Selangor 2–1 to become Asia's first club champions. The club also reached the State Cup final that year, but lost 2–1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Hapoel won the title again in 1968–69, and again qualified for the Asian Club championships. Although they reached the final, they lost 2–1 to Iranian side Taj Club (in an era when Iran and Israel had diplomatic relations). They won the State Cup again in 1972, beating Hapoel Jerusalem 1–0 in the final, but did not win the title again until 1980–81, when they missed out on the double after losing the cup final 4–3 on penalties (after a 2–2 draw) to Bnei Yehuda. The following season they reached the cup final again, but lost 1–0 to Hapoel Yehud. A hat-trick of cup final defeats was avoided when they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 3–2 in the 1982 final.

Another title was won in 1985–86, and another in 1987–88. However, the following season Hapoel finished bottom of the league (with a four-point deduction for breaking budget rules) and were relegated to the second tier for the first time in their history.

The club made an immediate return to the top division as Liga Artzit runners-up, though they only beat Maccabi Yavne to the second promotion slot on goal difference.[7] In 1997–98 Hapoel finished second, and qualified for Europe for the second time. In the 1998–99 UEFA Cup Hapoel knocked out FinnPa, before losing on penalties to Strømsgodset. In the same season they won the State Cup, beating Beitar Jerusalem 3–1 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.

21st Century[edit]

Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at Bloomfield Stadium before the Tel Aviv derby, 2014

The 1999–2000 season saw Hapoel win the double, claiming their first title in over a decade and winning the State Cup (beating Beitar Jerusalem on penalties again). However, they failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League after being beaten 5–1 on aggregate by Sturm Graz. They finished second in the league in 2000–01 and 2001–02 and third in 2002–03, qualifying for the UEFA Cup on each occasion. In the 2001–02 UEFA Cup Hapoel reached the quarter-finals after knocking out Chelsea, Lokomotiv Moscow and Parma. Although they beat A.C. Milan 1–0 in the home leg (a match which had to be played in the GSP Stadium in Cyprus as UEFA did not allow matches to be held in Israel due to security reasons), Hapoel lost the away leg 2–0.

In 2002 the club won its first Toto Cup. They won the State Cup in 2006, beating Bnei Yehuda 1–0 in the final, and also won it the following season, when they defeated second division Hapoel Ashkelon on penalties. They reached the final again in 2007–08, but lost 5–4 on penalties to Beitar Jerusalem after a 0–0 draw.

In 2009–10, the club won the double, claiming the State Cup after a 3–1 victory over Bnei Yehuda. The title was won after a dramatic game against Beitar Jerusalem on the final day of the season, with Eran Zahavi scoring the title-winning goal two minutes into injury time. The club also had a successful season in the Europa League, winning their group, before losing to Rubin Kazan in the second round. The following season they reached the group stages of the Champions League for the first time, but failed to advance to the next round. at the same season the team reached to the second place and won the Israeli State Cup for the second time in row.

In the beginning of season 2011–12 most of the successful players of the team left and spread at Europe, also the Team's manager Eli Guttman left too. The club's legendary coach, Dror Kashtan, returned and new players came as part of the transfer of ownership of the club to Eli Tabib. During the season there was tension between the manager Dror Kashtan and Eli Tabib, which led to the manager's departure and current Manager was appointed in his place, Nitzan Shirazi, who led the team winning the Israeli State Cup for the third time in a row. After large-scale protests of the fans against the club's owner Tabib and his unprofessional conduct, he decided to leave the club after one year and sold it to Haim Ramon and to the supporters' trust called "Haadumim", "The Reds" in Hebrew, that establish at the summer of 2012 and raise 2 million shekel for 20% of the ownership. The other part of the club sold to several other businessmen. Altogether the club sold at summer 2012 for 12 million NIS (about $ 3 Million). At the beginning of season 2012–13, Yossi Abuksis was appointed coach in place of Nitzan Shirazi, who appointed professional manager due to his health reasons. On 1 July 2015, the club was bought by Amir Gross Kabiri.


Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at Gate 5 in Bloomfield Stadium, 2013
Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at HaMoshava Stadium, 2016

After playing at three different stadiums, the club moved to the old Bloomfield Stadium in 1949, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1962 the ground was renovated using donation from the Bloomfield family, thus receiving its official name. The ground was owned by Tel-Aviv histadrut branch, who were also owners of Hapoel, although today it is a municipal stadium.

The stadium, located in Jaffa, is an upgraded version of the older stadium called "Basa". The first match at the new Bloomfield was played on 12 December 1962 against FC Twente, the game ending in a 1–1 draw. The stadium is currently shared with city rivals Maccabi (who moved to the ground in 2000) and Bnei Yehuda (since 2004).

Hapoel main fans' gate is gate 5, where Ultras Hapoel lead the cheering, and away crowds sit oppositely, on Gate 11. Another traditional Hapoel fans' gate is gate 7.

Bloomfield Stadium has been under renovation for expansion sicnce 2016, and the team temporarley plays at HaMoshava Stadium in Petah Tikva.

Supporters and politics[edit]

Ultras Hapoel Graffiti near Rabin Square, Tel Aviv

The team is the standard-bearer of the Israeli left and far-left. It was the last club to cut formal links with politics, in this case the trade union movement and the moderate Social Democratic Labor Party Mapai, as well more radical parties such as the Marxist Party Mapam, and its predecessor Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party and the Marxist-Leninist Israeli Communist Party (Maki).

Ultras Hapoel often wave flags emblazoned with the faces of Che Guevara and Karl Marx, as well as banners with the slogan "Workers of the world, unite!".[8] The club ultras has friendships with many other antifa supporter groups, including strong bonds with fans of FC St. Pauli, Standard Liège, Omonia Nicosia and Celtic F.C..

Hapoel's two rivals are Maccabi Tel Aviv, whose game against them is the Tel Aviv derby and, above all, Beitar Jerusalem, which is considered (and considers itself) the team of the Israeli far-right.

A Haaretz poll published on June 2011 identified Hapoel Tel Aviv as the second most popular football team among Israeli Arabs, behind Maccabi Haifa.[9]

Another survey had been conducted in March 2012 by Yedioth showed that Hapoel is the fourth most popular team among Israeli football fans (nineteen percent). The same survey revealed that thirty-two percent of Tel Aviv residents support the team.[10]

Current squad[edit]

As of 1 October 2018

No. Position Player
2 Israel DF Abbade Farhat
3 Israel DF Amiran Shkalim
4 Israel DF Orel Dgani (captain)
6 Israel DF Adi Gotlieb
7 Israel FW Ahmed Abed
8 Brazil MF Claudemir
10 Israel MF Ramzi Safouri
11 Israel FW Joseph Ganda
15 Israel MF Nir Lax
16 Israel FW Omer Damari (vice captain)
17 Israel FW Shahar Hirsh
18 Israel FW Roei Zikri
19 Israel MF Shay Elias (eligible for youth team)
No. Position Player
20 Israel DF Idan Cohen
22 Israel GK Arik Yanko
23 Israel DF Raz Shlomo (eligible for youth team)
26 Ghana MF Emmanuel Boateng
33 Israel GK Roy Baranes (eligible for youth team)
43 Belgium DF Marvin Peersman
Israel GK Yoav Gerafi
Israel DF Danny Grufer
Israel MF Moti Barshazki
Israel FW Lior Inbrum
Israel FW Ali Kna'ana
Dominican Republic FW Ronaldo Vásquez

Players out on loan[edit]

No. Position Player
Israel DF Yarin Peretz (at Israel Hapoel Hadera until 30 June 2019)
Ivory Coast DF Ulrich Meleke (at Israel Hapoel Bnei Lod until 30 June 2019)
Israel MF Ofir Takiar (at Israel Beitar Tel Aviv Ramla until 30 June 2019)
Israel MF Guy Badash (at Israel Beitar Tel Aviv Ramla until 30 June 2019)
Israel DF Raz Nachmias (at Israel Hapoel Ramat Gan until 30 June 2019)
Israel FW Eden Hershkovich (at Israel Hapoel Ramat Gan until 30 June 2019)
Israel GK Dudi Alon (at Israel Hapoel Petah Tikva until 30 June 2019)
No. Position Player
Israel DF Itzik Shoolmayster (at Israel Hapoel Rishon LeZion until 30 June 2019)
Israel FW Jonatan Levi (at Israel Hapoel Nazareth Illit until 30 June 2019)
Israel MF Roy Dayan (at Israel Hapoel Marmorek until 30 June 2019)
Israel MF Amit Malka (at Israel Hapoel Marmorek until 30 June 2019)
Israel MF Benny Tridovsky (at Israel Maccabi Herzliya until 30 June 2019)
Israel DF Mor Naaman (at Israel Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan until 30 June 2019)
Israel DF Desaley Tagania (at Israel Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2019)
Serbia FW Fejsal Mulić (at Israel Bnei Yehuda until 30 June 2019)

Foreigners 2018–19[edit]

Only up to six non-Israeli nationals can be in an Israeli club, but only five can play at the same time on the pitch. Those with Jewish ancestry, married to an Israeli, or have played in Israel for an extended period of time, can claim a passport or permanent residency which would allow them to play with Israeli status.

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Israel Nisso Avitan
Assistant coach Israel Nimrod Kostica
Fitness coach Israel Ofer Doron
Goalkeeping coach Israel Ami Genish
Club doctor Israel Dr. George Canada

Israel Dr. Ran Tyne

Physio Israel Michael Gershenzon

Israel Gil Puterman

Head of youth department Israel Omer Buchsenbaum
U19 head coach Israel Ori Uzan
Equipment manager Israel Eli Bueno




Honour No. Years
Championships 13 1933–34, 1934–35, 1938–39, 1940, 1943–44, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1980–81, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1999–2000, 2009–10


Honour No. Years
State Cup 16 1928, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1944, 1960–61, 1971–72, 1982–83, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
Toto Cup (top division) 1 2001–02
Super Cup 5 1957, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1981


Honour No. Years
Asian Club Championship 1 1967


Honour No. Years
Shapira Cup 1 1954–55[11]

Youth Division[edit]

Honour No. Years
Israeli Noar Premier League 5 1944–45, 1965–66, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1989–90
Israel Youth State Cup 7 1959–60, 1967–68, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1991–92, 2008–09, 2014–15

Record in Europe[edit]

UEFA Champions League qualifing match against Red Bull Salzburg, 2010

European competitions[edit]

UEFA club rankings[edit]

As of 14 August 2016[12]
Rank Team Coefficient
168 Cyprus Omonia Nicosia 7.560
Cyprus AEL Limassol 7.560
170 Israel Maccabi Haifa 7.550
Israel Hapoel Tel Aviv 7.550
172 Slovakia Slovan Bratislava 7.525
173 Belarus Shakhtyor Soligorsk 7.450
174 Serbia Vojvodina 7.400


Notable former players[edit]

Category:Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. players


Years Captain
1951 Israel Shimon Zimerman (MF)
1967 Israel Haim Nurieli (MF)
1971 Israel Shimon Ben Yehonathan (DF)
1972–1979 Israel Yehoshua Feigenbaum (FW)
1983–1987 Israel Moshe Sinai (MF)
1990 Israel Yaakov Ekhoiz (DF)
1993–1994 Israel Haim Revivo (MF)
1994–1995 Israel Ya'akov Schwartz (MF)
1995–1997 Israel Guy Sharabi (DF)
1997–1999 Israel Felix Halfon (DF)
1999–2006 Israel Shimon Gershon (DF)
2006–2007 Israel Yossi Abuksis (MF)
2007–2013 Israel Walid Badir (DF)
2013–2015 Israel Shay Abutbul (MF)
2015–2016 Romania Mihai Pintilii (MF)
2016 Israel Ariel Harush (GK)
2016 Montenegro Nemanja Nikolić (MF)
2016–2018 Israel Avihai Yadin (MF)
2018– Israel Orel Dgani (DF)

Most appearances[edit]

Rank Name Period Games Goals
1 Israel Ya'akov Ekhoiz 1974–92 454 12
2 Israel Aryeh Bajareno 1968–85 430 0
3 Israel Yehoshua Feigenbaum 1964–79 368 142
4 Israel Yigal Antebi 1999-09
351 9
5 Israel Shavit Elimelech 1996–07 344 0
6 Israel Yaakov Rahaminovich 1966–80 332 30
7 Israel Yehezkel Chazom 1964–77 324 97

Most League Goals[edit]

Rank Name Period Games Goals
1 Israel Yehoshua Feigenbaum 1964–79 368 142
2 Israel Yehezkel Chazom 1964–77 324 97
3 Israel Moshe Sinai 1980-89
290 87
4 Israel Rehavia Rozenbaum 1951–654 78
5 Israel Shabtay Levi 1977–88 247 58
Israel Omer Damari 2011-14
110 58
7 Israel Gidon Tish 1955-66


  1. ^ "Hapoel Tel Aviv vs. Bnei Sakhnin - 10 december 2016 - Soccerway". nl.soccerway.com. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/EuroExperience/competitions/UEFACup/01/67/58/86/1675886_DOWNLOAD.pdf
  3. ^ a b [1] Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.
  4. ^ Hapoel Tel-Aviv Football Club (Israel) Flags of the World
  5. ^ a b Israel – List of Cup Finals RSSSF
  6. ^ a b c Israel – List of Champions RSSSF
  7. ^ Israel 1989/90 RSSSF
  8. ^ The not-so-beautiful Game of Football in Israel Financial Times, 2 January 2010
  9. ^ "Soccer-mad, pro-'Hatikva'". 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2017 – via Haaretz.
  10. ^ Kuper, Uri. "The real national team?" (in Hebrew). one.co.il. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012.
  11. ^ Shapira Cup to Hapoel Tel Aviv Davar, 16 January 1955, Historical Jewish Press ‹See Tfd›(in Hebrew)
  12. ^ uefa.com. "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Club coefficients – UEFA.com". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2 July 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Inaugural Champions
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv