Ronny Rosenthal

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Ronny Rosenthal
Israel v New Zealand - Ramat Gan, 1989 - Ronny Rosenthal (cropped).jpg
Rosenthal with Israel in 1989
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-10-04) 4 October 1963 (age 57)
Place of birth Haifa, Israel
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position(s) Forward, striker
Youth career
1974–1979 Maccabi Haifa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1986 Maccabi Haifa 138 (38)
1986–1988 Club Brugge 43 (15)
1988–1990 Standard Liège[1] 54 (24)
1990Liverpool (loan) 8 (7)
1990–1994 Liverpool 66 (14)
1994–1997 Tottenham Hotspur 88 (4)
1997–1999 Watford 30 (8)
Total 427 (110)
National team
1983–1997 Israel 60 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 01:26, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Ronny Rosenthal (Hebrew: רוני רוזנטל‎; born 4 October 1963), nicknamed "Rocket Ronny",[2] is an Israeli former footballer who played as a forward.

After starting his career in his birth city with Maccabi Haifa, Rosenthal went on to play in Belgium with Club Brugge and Standard Liège. He moved to Liverpool in 1990 for a fee of £1.1 million, becoming the first non-UK player to move to an English club for more than £1 million. After four years at Liverpool, Rosenthal finished his career with Tottenham Hotspur and Watford.

Between 1983 and 1997 he made 60 appearances for the Israel national football team, scoring 11 goals.

Early and personal life[edit]

Rosenthal was born in Haifa, Israel, and is Jewish.[3][4] His brother Lior also played for Maccabi Haifa, and also represented Israel.[3]

Rosenthal married a Belgian, Nancy, who converted to Judaism.[3] Their two sons, Dean—who was bar mitzvah in Israel—and Tom, were born in England.[3] Dean is director of a sporting management company, while Tom, formerly on the books of Queens Park Rangers as a midfielder, currently plays for the Dutch team FC Dordrecht, and has been capped by Belgium at the under-18 and U19 levels—where he scored three goals—and has switched to Israel and was named to its U21 national team in 2018 for the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Germany and Norway.[5][6]

Rosenthal now lives in London, and has worked as a football agent and consultant.[3]

On 11 May 2019, Rosenthal and his family were subjected to a "terrifying ordeal" when masked robbers raided his home in Cricklewood.[7]

Club career[edit]

He was left-footed, and began his playing career with Maccabi Haifa in the city in which he was born in his native Israel, winning two Israeli league titles.[8][3] Rosenthal left his homeland to sign for Belgian side Club Brugge KV in 1988.[3] He scored 15 goals in two seasons, and won the Belgian league title one season.[3]

He then joined English side Liverpool on loan in March 1990, as manager Kenny Dalglish looked to increase his options for the forward positions during Liverpool's league title run-in. He scored seven goals in eight Football League First Division games, including a hat-trick against Charlton Athletic, which helped Liverpool secure their third league title in five seasons. His move to Anfield was then made permanent for a fee of £1 million - double the fee which had been quoted before the loan deal was agreed.[9] At Anfield, he became a cult hero.[10]

In 1990-91, Rosenthal faced continued fierce competition for a place in the first team from Liverpool's established strikers Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley, and then from mid-season signing David Speedie. He played 16 times in the league, and scored five goals as Liverpool finished second in the league. In 1991-92, Rosenthal played 20 times in the league, but it was a frustrating league campaign for both player and club, as the Reds finished sixth in the league and Rosenthal only found the net three times. Liverpool did win the FA Cup that season, but Rosenthal was not selected for the final. Despite the pre-season departure of both Speedie and Beardsley, Rosenthal was now faced with competition for a place from new signing Dean Saunders. 1992-93 was slightly better, as Rosenthal played 27 games in the new FA Premier League, and scored six goals, but it was another frustrating season for Liverpool, who finished sixth in the league once again and spent most of the season occupying even lower positions. Saunders had been sold to Aston Villa early in the season, while new signing Paul Stewart proved to be a major disappointment.[11]

A memorable occasion during that first Premier League season came when Rosenthal hit the crossbar with a shot on an open goal in a league match against Aston Villa.[12]

With the arrival of Nigel Clough in the summer of 1993, and the breakthrough of Robbie Fowler soon after, Rosenthal played just three league games for Liverpool in 1993-94 and was sold to Tottenham Hotspur in January 1994.[2] He became a regular member of the first team at White Hart Lane, playing 15 league games and scoring twice before the season's end. Despite Teddy Sheringham overcoming injury problems, and the close season signing of Jürgen Klinsmann, Rosenthal still managed to appear in 20 Premier League games in 1994-95, though he failed to score. His best form came in the FA Cup, in which he scored five goals in Tottenham's run to the semi-final. This included a hat-trick in a 6-2 fifth round replay win at Southampton. Klinsmann was then sold to Bayern Munich and Spurs signed Chris Armstrong, but Rosenthal still played in all but five of Tottenham's 38 Premier League games in 1995-96, mostly as a substitute, but only scored one goal.

1996-97 brought a similar story for player and club. For the third consecutive season, Spurs fell short of a UEFA Cup place, while Rosenthal was on the scoresheet only once in the league, and this time was restricted to 20 league appearances. In more than three years in North London, Rosenthal had appeared in 88 league games (55 of them starts) but scored just four goals.[13] He then dropped down two divisions to sign for Watford, and played 30 games over the next seasons and scored eight goals as Watford won back-to-back promotions to reach the FA Premier League. He then retired from playing at the age of 35.[14]

International career[edit]

Rosenthal was also a regular member of the Israeli national football team for most of his career. He won his first senior cap in 1983, and by the time his international career drew to a close in 1997, he had been capped 60 times and scored 11 goals.[3][15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ronny Rosenthal". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  2. ^ a b "The Team That Dared To Do: Tottenham Hotspur 1994/5 - Gerry Francis, Chris Slegg".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i " - Your favorite newspapers and magazines".
  4. ^ Wechsler, Bob (10 September 2008). "Day by Day in Jewish Sports History". KTAV Publishing House, Inc. – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Simon Burnton (16 November 2007). "Small talk: Ronnie Rosenthal". London: Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Rosenthal called up by Israel U21s; English-born Tom Rosenthal has been named in Israel’s under-21 squad for the Euro 2019 qualifiers against Germany and Norway."
  7. ^ Maltby, Matt (30 July 2019). "Ex-Tottenham and Liverpool star attacked by machete gang in raid at home". mirror.
  8. ^ "Newsview". L.J. Tamman. 10 September 1984 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "From a Field to Anfield: A Footballer's Journey from Grassroots to the Top ... - Nick Tanner, Steve Cotton".
  10. ^ Gorst, Paul (2 December 2016). "Ronny Rosenthal on THAT miss: 'I'm glad it happened!'". Liverpool Echo.
  11. ^ "Ronny ROSENTHAL - League appearances. - Liverpool FC". Sporting Heroes.
  12. ^ "Liverpool career stats for Ronny Rosenthal - LFChistory - Stats galore for Liverpool FC!".
  13. ^ Cowlin, Chris (23 October 2014). "Another 101 Interesting Facts About Spurs: Learn About the Boys From The Lane". Andrews UK Limited – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Ronny ROSENTHAL - League appearances. - Tottenham Hotspur FC". Sporting Heroes.
  15. ^ Cowlin, Chris (3 February 2012). "The Liverpool Quiz Book". Andrews UK Limited – via Google Books.

External links[edit]