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Levi Garcia: "I had the privilege of being in the locker room of Betar Jerusalem" - Walla! Sport

2020-09-15T09:26:07.280Z

"I planned to stay another year," "I learned from Maroni Levy even though I did not always agree with him," "I am due to succeed at the high levels." Levi Garcia leaves Israel, talks about Yossi Benyon's central part in the move to AEK Athens and promises: "The Champions League, that's where I aim." Farewell interview



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Levi Garcia: "I had the privilege of being in the locker room of Betar Jerusalem"

"I planned to stay another year," "I learned from Maroni Levy even though I did not always agree with him," "I am due to succeed at the high levels."

Levi Garcia leaves Israel, talks about Yossi Benyon's central part in the move to AEK Athens and promises: "The Champions League, that's where I aim."

Farewell interview

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  • Levi Garcia

  • Beitar Jerusalem

Ophir Saar

Tuesday, 15 September 2020, 12:05

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Slobodan Drapich returns to Betar Jerusalem (Betar Jerusalem's official website)

When he is not yet 23, Levi Garcia moves to a fourth stop in his European career.

It started in the Dutch Alkmaar at the age of 17, continued two years ago in Kiryat Shmona and last season the striker was sold to Betar Jerusalem. Yesterday his transfer to the Greek AEK Athens was completed for about 2.5 million euros.



Garcia flew to Greece this afternoon and was very stressed throughout the last day: “I barely slept.

"I organized everything, it was important for me to return the house clean in every corner and there are also all the procedures that need to be completed in front of Betar. Everything is under pressure but I delivered. I believe I will complete the sleeping hours already in Greece."

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To the full article

Levi Garcia (Photo: Danny Maron)

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You said before that from Betar you want to move to a senior league in Europe, why Greece?



"First of all there are things in your career that do not depend only on you.

There was a situation where Betar needed the money and the Greeks really wanted me. I had 5-6 attractive offers, most of them better financially than AAK, but I chose it because I got the feeling that they wanted me - as I felt when Betar contacted me.

The president picked up the phone to me, explained to me that they were building on me and waiting for me, assigning me a key role and also made it clear that in the future it would help me advance to more senior leagues.

I felt this was the right place for me.

I end up being a professional footballer who has to make decisions based on what’s happening on the field, and that’s what I did.

"My plan was to stay at Betar for another season, get better, make better numbers and move to a major league in Europe."




How do you sum up your year at Betar?



”We could have done more.

There were very high expectations and we may have disappointed some people.

All in all we were a new team, a lot of players from a lot of places that took time to adapt, both on a personal level and on a professional level.

Gadi Kinda was a significant player who left in January and it hurt us, Michael Ohana was also injured at the beginning of the season, but still, we finished in third place and we could have given a better season this year. "




How do you see the current Betar?



"There are good players, the question is how everything will connect. Everyone is really hungry, committed and wants to succeed. There are players like Idan Vered, Eliran Atar, Dan Einbinder, those who can lead the team forward. Degani also added. There are also quality young people who have to believe in themselves. "I have a new professional team, I understand that more players will come. I think that if everything connects, Betar will be able to face Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa." We




are building on Michael Ohana, but psychologically he has not returned yet



"Yes, it's not easy, this time The second he goes through this injury.

Look, in my head this is a very strong guy, I see the way he goes, the attitude, the resilience, I'm sure he knows what's best and right for him.

If he feels he needs some more time he must be given it.

He is a player of a very high standard, if he is qualified and plays, Betar will be significantly upgraded. "

You had a hard time in Israel after the eruption of the corona



"My wife and child were not here and being stuck at home alone is not easy. I managed to see all the series on Netflix, but it is not the most pleasant. You want to go out, breathe, see people, see life. "But going through it. It's not easy to be a foreigner alone in the country during a closure period, but it's probably part of the life of a professional footballer who travels the world."




Have you talked to Yossi Benyon recently?



"All the time, Yossi is already a friend, beyond a professional manager. He brought all the offers from Greece and Turkey and talked to me about the options. Even after his departure, he was involved until the deal closed. Every day he explained to me and advised me on what to choose. From day one I knew him I understood who he is, no matter that he was a huge player, he is a humble and simple guy who really cares and does everything from the heart.I am sure we will be in touch for many more years, he wants to be a professional manager in Europe, maybe our paths will cross. "Sometimes I did not like what he demanded of me and did not agree, but he is an excellent coach, I can say that even when he was angry with me or criticized me, I took it to a positive place of learning what I am not doing right and getting better. I really enjoyed both."




What are you taking from this year in Betar?



"Lots of things.

I really enjoyed, in front of the audience and the atmosphere, I enjoyed the people here.

There was an excellent dressing room, good people, caring people, they took care of everything that bothered me, respected me and helped me fit in.

"I wish every player to be in the locker room as he was in Betar last year, it's a privilege. I will miss Ali Muhammad very much, who has really become my brother here, we are very close and we will definitely stay in touch."




Where will you be in two or three years?



I believe in the high levels of Europe.

Senior league, Champions League, that's where I aim.

Gone is the end of the boy looking for himself, it's the profession and the livelihood and I'm going to fight for my success.

I went through enough to be ready and ripe for success at the highest levels.

Now is my time to prove it. "

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