Israel national football team

Israel
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)הכחולים-לבנים‬ (The Blue and Whites)
AssociationIsrael Football Association (IFA)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe) (1991–present)
AFC (Asia) (1954–74)
Head coachAndi Herzog
CaptainBibras Natkho
Most capsYossi Benayoun (102)[1]
Top scorerMordechai Spiegler (33)[2]
Home stadiumSammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa
Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem
FIFA codeISR
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current93 Increase 5 (7 June 2018)
Highest15 (November 2008)
Lowest99 (January 2018)
Elo ranking
Current75 Increase 1 (29 July 2018)
Highest15 (August 2008)
Lowest80 (February 1968)
First international
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Israel:
United States USA Olympic Team 3–1 Israel Israel
(New York City, United States; 26 September 1948)
Biggest win
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine 5–1 Lebanon
(Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine; 27 April 1940)
Israel:
Israel Israel 9–0 Chinese Taipei 
(Wellington, New Zealand; 23 March 1988)
Biggest defeat
Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel):
 Egypt 7–1 Mandatory Palestine Mandatory Palestine
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Israel:
 Germany 7–1 Israel Israel
(Kaiserslautern, Germany; 12 February 2002)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1970)
Best resultGroup stage, 1970
Asian Cup
Appearances4 (first in 1956)
Best resultChampions, 1964

The Israel national football team (Hebrew: נבחרת ישראל בכדורגל‎, Nivḥeret Yisra'el BeChaduregel) is the national football team of Israel, governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Israel's national team is the direct successor of the Mandatory Palestine/Eretz Israel national team, and was managed by the Eretz Israel Football Association. Israel has competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in three different confederations, competing in the Asian Football Confederation before settling in Europe as a member of the Union of European Football Associations in 1994.

The Israeli side qualified for their only FIFA World Cup to date in 1970. Israel also hosted and won the AFC Asian Cup in 1964, and was finalist in 1956 and in 1960.

2018 FIFA World Cup
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification
1 Spain10910363+3328Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup3–03–04–14–08–0
2 Italy10721218+1323Advance to second round1–12–01–01–15–0
3 Albania104151013−3130–20–10–32–12–0
4 Israel104061015−5120–11–30–30–12–1
5 Macedonia1032515150111–22–31–11–24–0
6 Liechtenstein100010139−3800–80–40–20–10–3
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
UEFA Euro 2016
PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualificationBelgiumWalesBosnia and HerzegovinaIsraelCyprusAndorra
1 Belgium10721245+1923Qualify for final tournament0–03–13–15–06–0
2 Wales10631114+7211–00–00–02–12–0
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina105231712+517Advance to play-offs1–12–03–11–23–0
4 Israel104151614+2130–10–33–01–24–0
5 Cyprus104061617−1120–10–12–31–25–0
6 Andorra100010436−3201–41–20–31–41–3
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Players

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Nations League match against Albania on 7 September and friendly match against Northern Ireland on 11 September 2018.
Caps and goals updated as of 11 September 2018 after the match against Northern Ireland.
Statistics include official FIFA-recognised matches only.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
181GKGuy Haimov (1986-03-09) 9 March 1986 (age 32)30Israel Maccabi Haifa
231GKDanny Amos (1987-02-02) 2 February 1987 (age 31)00Israel Maccabi Netanya
11GKMahmmoud Kanadil (1988-08-11) 11 August 1988 (age 30)00Israel Bnei Sakhnin

212DFEitan Tibi (1987-11-16) 16 November 1987 (age 30)361Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
122DFSheran Yeini (1986-12-08) 8 December 1986 (age 31)200Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
132DFTaleb Tawatha (1992-06-21) 21 June 1992 (age 26)110Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
22DFEli Dasa (1992-12-03) 3 December 1992 (age 25)110Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
222DFBen Bitton (1991-01-03) 3 January 1991 (age 27)50Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva
32DFSamuel Scheimann (1987-11-03) 3 November 1987 (age 30)20Israel Beitar Jerusalem
42DFAyid Habshi (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 23)20Israel Maccabi Haifa
52DFNisso Kapiloto (1989-10-01) 1 October 1989 (age 28)20Israel Hapoel Haifa

63MFBibras Natkho (Captain) (1988-02-18) 18 February 1988 (age 30)521Greece Olympiacos
113MFDan Einbinder (1989-02-16) 16 February 1989 (age 29)71Israel Hapoel Be'er Sheva
143MFDor Peretz (1995-05-17) 17 May 1995 (age 23)40Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
153MFDor Micha (1992-03-02) 2 March 1992 (age 26)30Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
203MFDan Glazer (1996-09-20) 20 September 1996 (age 21)10Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv
253MFMaxim Plakuschenko (1996-01-04) 4 January 1996 (age 22)00Israel Hapoel Haifa

104FWTomer Hemed (1987-05-02) 2 May 1987 (age 31)3416England Queens Park Rangers
94FWMoanes Dabour (1992-05-14) 14 May 1992 (age 26)91Austria Red Bull Salzburg
174FWAlon Turgeman (1991-06-09) 9 June 1991 (age 27)20Austria Austria Wien
194FWDia Saba (1992-11-18) 18 November 1992 (age 25)20Israel Maccabi Netanya

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Israeli squad on the last 12 months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GKAriel Harush (1988-05-25) 25 May 1988 (age 30)110Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Albania, 7 September 2018 INJ
GKOfir Marciano (1989-10-07) 7 October 1989 (age 28)110Scotland Hibernianv.  Romania, 24 March 2018 INJ
GKBoris Klaiman (1990-10-26) 26 October 1990 (age 27)10Cyprus Paralimniv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
GKOmri Glazer (1996-03-11) 11 March 1996 (age 22)10Israel Maccabi Haifav.  Liechtenstein, 6 October 2017

DFLoai Taha (1989-11-26) 26 November 1989 (age 28)10Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Albania, 7 September 2018 INJ
DFShir Tzedek (1989-08-22) 22 August 1989 (age 29)140Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Albania, 7 September 2018 INJ
DFOren Biton (1994-06-16) 16 June 1994 (age 24)00Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Argentina, 9 June 2018
DFTal Kachila (1992-06-26) 26 June 1992 (age 26)00Israel Beitar Jerusalemv.  Romania, 24 March 2018
DFMaor Kandil (1993-11-27) 27 November 1993 (age 24)00Israel Maccabi Tel Avivv.  Romania, 24 March 2018
DFTal Ben Haim (1982-03-31) 31 March 1982 (age 36)961Israel Beitar Jerusalemv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
DFDor Elo (1993-09-26) 26 September 1993 (age 24)00Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Spain, 9 October 2017
DFHatem Abd Elhamed (1991-03-18) 18 March 1991 (age 27)00Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Spain, 9 October 2017
DFOfir Davidzada (1991-05-05) 5 May 1991 (age 27)110Israel Maccabi Tel Avivv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
DFOmri Ben Harush (1990-03-04) 4 March 1990 (age 28)150Belgium Lokerenv.  Spain, 9 October 2017

MFEran Zahavi (1987-07-25) 25 July 1987 (age 31)406China Guangzhou R&Fv.  Albania, 7 September 2018 INJ
MFBeram Kayal (1988-05-02) 2 May 1988 (age 30)341England Brighton & Hove Albionv.  Albania, 7 September 2018
MFOmer Atzili (1993-07-27) 27 July 1993 (age 25)20Israel Maccabi Tel Avivv.  Argentina, 9 June 2018
MFHanan Maman (1989-08-28) 28 August 1989 (age 29)10Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Argentina, 9 June 2018
MFEran Levy (1985-08-04) 4 August 1985 (age 33)10Israel Beitar Jerusalemv.  Argentina, 9 June 2018
MFAlmog Cohen (1988-09-01) 1 September 1988 (age 30)240Germany FC Ingolstadt 04v.  Argentina, 9 June 2018 INJ
MFMaor Melikson (1984-10-30) 30 October 1984 (age 33)253Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Romania, 24 March 2018
MFDavid Keltjens (1995-06-11) 11 June 1995 (age 23)60Israel Beitar Jerusalemv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
MFMarwan Kabha (1991-02-23) 23 February 1991 (age 27)40Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Spain, 9 October 2017
MFIdan Vered (1989-05-25) 25 May 1989 (age 29)20Israel Beitar Jerusalemv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
MFGidi Kanyuk (1993-02-11) 11 February 1993 (age 25)00Israel Maccabi Petah Tikvav.  Spain, 9 October 2017
MFNir Bitton (1991-10-30) 30 October 1991 (age 26)212Scotland Celticv.  Spain, 9 October 2017 INJ
MFLior Refaelov (1986-04-26) 26 April 1986 (age 32)406Belgium Royal Antwerpv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
MFYossi Benayoun (1980-05-05) 5 May 1980 (age 38)10224Israel Maccabi Petah Tikvav.  Spain, 9 October 2017

FWManor Solomon (1999-07-24) 24 July 1999 (age 19)10Israel Maccabi Petah Tikvav.  Albania, 7 September 2018 INJ
FWBen Sahar (1989-08-10) 10 August 1989 (age 29)417Israel Hapoel Be'er Shevav.  Argentina, 9 June 2018
FWTal Ben Haim II (1989-08-05) 5 August 1989 (age 29)295Czech Republic Sparta Praguev.  Romania, 24 March 2018 INJ
FWEliran Atar (1987-02-17) 17 February 1987 (age 31)61Israel Maccabi Tel Avivv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
FWItay Shechter (1987-02-22) 22 February 1987 (age 31)275Israel Maccabi Tel Avivv.  Spain, 9 October 2017
  • INJ Withdrew due to an injury.
  • PRE Preliminary squad.
  • SUS Suspended.
  • RET Retired from international football.
Records

As of 9 October 2017, the ten players with the most caps[1] for Israel are:

Rank.NameCareerCapsGoals
1Yossi Benayoun1998–present10224
2Tal Ben Haim2002–present962
3Arik Benado1995–2007940
4Alon Harazi1992–2006892
5Amir Schelach1992–2001850
6Mordechai Spiegler1963–19778333
Nir Klinger1987–1997832
8Avi Nimni1992–20058017
9Tal Banin1990–20037812
Itzhak Shum1969–19817810
Eyal Berkovic1992–2004789
Dudu Aouate1999–2013780

Bold denotes still active players.

Top goalscorers

Mordechai Spiegler (middle) is Israel's top scorer with 33 goals

As of 9 October 2017, the ten players with the most goals[2] for Israel are:

Rank.PlayerCareerGoalsCapsAverage
1Mordechai Spiegler1963–197733830.39
2Yehoshua Feigenbaum1966–197724500.48
Yossi Benayoun1998–present241020.24
4Ronen Harazi1992–199923530.43
5Nahum Stelmach1956–196822610.36
6Gidi Damti1971–198121690.30
7Giora Spiegel1965–198018440.40
Yehoshua Glazer1949–196118350.51
9Eli Ohana1984–199717510.33
Avi Nimni1992–200517800.21

Bold denotes still active players.

History

Football has a long tradition in Israel. The game was originally introduced during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian Football Association was formed in August 1928, and joined FIFA in June 1929, but at the time the association was made up of Arab clubs, Jewish clubs, and clubs representing British policemen and soldiers serving in the region during the British Mandate rule that spanned the period between World War One and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The British Mandate of Palestine national team made its debut against Egypt in 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, losing 1–7 in Cairo. The team played five international matches, including a friendly match against Lebanon, until the British Mandate for Palestine was dissolved.

The Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the USA Olympic Team. The game was won by the USA 1–3, and in the 20th minute of the game Shmuel Ben-Dror scored the first goal after the creation of the State of Israel.

Asian Football Confederation membership

Nahum Stelmach kicking; 1959

Israel competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) between 1954 and 1974. Due to the Arab League boycott of Israel, several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel. The political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales to ensure the team did not qualify without playing at least one game (which Wales won).

Israel winning the 1964 AFC Asian Cup

Israel hosted and won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup. In 1968, Israel went to their first Olympic Games and lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals.

In 1969, Israel qualified for its first and only FIFA World Cup, via Asia/Oceania, and earned two points after draws with Sweden and finalist Italy, and a loss to Uruguay.

In 1976, Israel went to its second Olympic Games and lost in the quarterfinals again, this time against Brazil. In 1972 and 1977, it attempted World Cup qualification as part of Asia, which both times ended in failure.

Years in exile

In 1974, Israel was excluded from AFC competitions, as a result of a proposal by Kuwait which was adopted by a vote of 17 to 13 with 6 abstentions.[3] The vote coincided with the 1974 Asian Games, where the football competition was marred by the refusal of both North Korea[4] and Kuwait to play second-round matches against Israel.

During the 1980s, it played the majority of its matches against European teams, and competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, it entered Oceania's qualification stage. In 1989, Israel made it to the CONMEBOL–OFC play-offs for the 1990 World Cup to play against Colombia, which qualified from the South American group, but lost (1–0, 0–0).

European Football Confederation membership

In 1991, Israeli clubs began participating in European club competitions, and Israel returned to the European leg of World Cup qualifying in 1992. In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership, 20 years after it had left Asia. Within Europe, Israel has been a relatively minor nation, though with some successes, notably winning 3–2 in Paris against France in 1993, and 5–0 against Austria in 1999. That year, Israel made it to the playoffs of UEFA Euro 2000, but was beaten by Denmark.

Avram Grant has been the youngest national coach of Israel
Yossi Benayoun is Israel's most capped player with 102 caps

Israel came close to advancing to the playoff stage in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, finishing third, behind France, and tied on points with Switzerland, which also remained unbeaten in 10 matches after 4 wins and 6 draws. The Swiss had a better goal difference, though, and advanced to the qualification play-off. Coach Avram Grant announced his resignation on 26 October 2005. After the end of his contract, he was succeeded by Dror Kashtan.

In UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Israel came very close to qualifying to final tournament, but finished fourth in Group E, behind group winners Croatia, 1 point behind Russia who also with Croatia qualified direct, as well as equal on 23 points (one less than Russia) from 12 games with England; who failed to advance as did Israel. The 4–3 home loss to Croatia was the first loss after 13 consecutive official games and 9 home games without a loss.

In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Israel again came in fourth, behind Switzerland, Greece, and Latvia. For the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Kashtan was replaced as coach by Frenchman Luis Fernández, but to no avail, as Israel finished a distant third behind Greece and Croatia.

The continued presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to justify its transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation.[5]

Ranking history

Source: [6]

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