Nir Bitton

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Nir Bitton
20170701 SK Rapid Wien vs Celtic FC 1197.jpg
Bitton playing for Celtic in 2017
Personal information
Date of birth (1991-10-30) 30 October 1991 (age 27)
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
1997–2009 Ashdod
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 Ashdod 123 (14)
2013– Celtic 127 (8)
National team
2008 Israel U17 5 (0)
2009 Israel U18 2 (0)
2009 Israel U19 15 (0)
2010–2013 Israel U21 22 (2)
2010– Israel 21 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:56, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 November 2016

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

Early life[edit]

Bitton was born in Ashdod, Israel, to a Sephardic Jewish family. He served as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces.[2]

Club career[edit]

Bitton broke into the first team of his home-town club F.C. Ashdod and went on to make over 100 appearances.[3]

Celtic[edit]

On 30 August 2013, Bitton signed a four-year deal with Scottish Premiership club Celtic, for a fee of around £700,000 and a 20% sell-on clause from Israeli Premier League club Ashdod.[4]

2013–14 season[edit]

He made his debut for the club on 18 September, in a Champions League group stage match against AC Milan, coming into the game as a late substitute in the 89th minute.[5][6] 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.[5][7] The resulting suspension and a few niggling injuries hindered Bitton's efforts to establish himself in the team,[8] but he still managed to make a total of 20 appearances for Celtic by the end of his first season there.[9] Celtic won their third successive league title, and Bitton's 15 league appearances saw him pick up his first major honour.[8][10]

2014–15 season[edit]

In the 2014-15 season, Bitton scored in Celtic's first league match of the season from the penalty spot after a controversial red card for St Johnstone defender Dave Mackay.[11] Celtic winger Derk Boerrigter was later given a 3-match ban for simulation.[12] Later in the season, Bitton scored a stunning 30-yard goal against Dundee. in a 5–0 win.[13] He scored another long distance strike on 12 August 2015, netting from 25 yards into the top corner in a 2–2 draw with Kilmarnock.[14]

2015–16 season[edit]

To begin the 2015–16 season, on 19 August 2015, Bitton scored against Swedish side Malmö FF in a 3–2 win at Celtic Park in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs.[15] On 2 November 2015, Bitton was reported to have signed a new contract which would keep him at Celtic until the summer of 2020.[16]

International career[edit]

In 2009, Bitton was selected to represent Israel at the 2009 Maccabiah Games, and the team won a bronze medal.[17] He played in the only Israel U-21 team to qualify for the UEFA European U21 Championship in 2013.[18]

He made his senior debut for Israel in a friendly match against Uruguay on 26 May 2010. Bitton played a major role in qualifying games for the 2016 UEFA Euro Tournament.[19] He scored his first goal for the national team against Andorra in a 4–0 victory On 3 September 2015.[20]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 1 September 2019[21][10][22]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
F.C. Ashdod[i] 2008–09 Israeli Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10 20 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 1
2010–11 34 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 34 5
2011–12 36 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 36 4
2012–13 31 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 32 4
2013–14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 123 14 0 0 1 0 0 0 124 14
Celtic 2013–14 Scottish Premiership 15 0 1 0 1 0 3[a] 0 20 0
2014–15 31 2 5 0 2 0 5[b] 0 43 2
2015–16 30 5 3 0 2 0 11[c] 3 46 8
2016–17 26 1 3 0 2 0 8[a] 1 39 2
2017–18 14 0 1 0 2 0 6[a] 0 23 0
2018–19 7 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
2019–20 4 0 0 0 1 0 6[d] 0 11 0
Total 127 8 16 0 10 0 39 4 192 12
Career total 250 22 16 0 11 0 39 4 316 12
  1. ^ National Cup and League Cup appearances for F.C. Ashdod unknown
  1. ^ a b c Appearances in the UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ Two appearances in the UEFA Champions League and three appearances in the UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ Six appearances and two goals in the UEFA Champions League and five appearances and one goal in the UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Five appearances in the UEFA Champions League and one appearance in the UEFA Europa League

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Israel's goal tally first.[19]
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 3 September 2015 Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel  Andorra 2–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
2. 10 October 2015 Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem, Israel  Cyprus 1–1 1–2 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Celtic[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stewart Fisher: Celtic's Nir Bitton is right - you shouldn't mix politics and football". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Meet The 24-Year-Old Celtic Midfielder Who's Been Compared To Sergio Busquets". The18. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Nir Bitton". Celtic FC. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Celtic sign Israeli star, Nir Biton". Celtic FC. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Games Involving Biton, Nir in season 2013/2014". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  6. ^ "0-2 Vs AC Milan in UEFA Champions League (18/09/2013)". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Cully, Ronnie (13 February 2014). "Biton out for Celtic shot at glory". Evening Times. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Biton, Nir". FitbaStats. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "N. Biton". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  11. ^ Burns, Cheri (13 August 2015). "St Johnstone 0 - 3 Celtic". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Derk Boerrigter accepts two-match ban for 'simulation'". BBC Sport. 18 August 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  13. ^ "See Bitton hit wonder goal as Celtic edge closer to title with 5-0 win". STV Sport. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  14. ^ Campbell, Andy (12 August 2015). "Kilmarnock 2 - 2 Celtic". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Celtic on top but Berget gives Malmö hope". UEFA. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Bitton signs contract until 2020 with Scottish champions". BBC Sport. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  17. ^ "סגלי נבחרות ישראל לטורניר הכדורגל של המכביה". Israel Football Association. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  18. ^ "England Crushed by Israel's Winning Goal in Jerusalem (Video)". Jewish Press. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Nir Biton". National Football Teams. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  20. ^ "Israel back on track after Andorra stroll". UEFA. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  21. ^ Nir Bitton at Soccerbase
  22. ^ "Nir Biton Israel Football Association profile". Israel Football Association. Retrieved 1 September 2019.

External links[edit]