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The man who made Maccabi Haifa look Maccabi Tel Aviv in the eye - Walla! sport

2021-09-18T06:01:14.537Z

He was called "the greatest footballer born here" and was captain of the Israeli national team and Maccabi Tel Aviv. One summer everything changed, he retired from the team and moved to Maccabi Haifa to ruin the championship for the Yellows. Asher Goldberg brings the fascinating story of Eli Fox



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The man who made Maccabi Haifa look Maccabi Tel Aviv in the eye

He was called "the greatest footballer born here" and was captain of the Israeli national team and Maccabi Tel Aviv.

One summer everything changed, he retired from the team and moved to Maccabi Haifa to ruin the championship for the Yellows.

Asher Goldberg brings the fascinating story of Eli Fox

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  • Maccabi Tel Aviv in football

  • Maccabi Haifa

Asher Goldberg

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 9 p.m.

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Eli Fox is considered one of the greatest players of all time in Israeli football. In 1947, the Hungarian luxury group M.T.K. Which held a series of games in the country. The Hungarians invited Fox from Maccabi Tel Aviv as a guest player in their team for the game against the Ramat Gan team. The Hungarian star, the luxury striker of the Nandor Hidkoti team, offered Fox to return with them to Budapest and play for the team, an offer that Fox politely rejected.



Jerry Beit Halevi wrote in 1992 in his book "Life Around the Ball" about Fox and described it as "the greatest footballers born here." He explained that "all his sin was that he was born too early, without a TV to record his great games and moments. His presence on the field was a demonstration of leadership as a central runner and a left runner. He saw every corner of the field, his control of the ball was perfect. "It was difficult to see Maccabi Tel Aviv lose. He was a player of 10."

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Considered a player on.

Fox at Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: Archive)

Fox was after the establishment of the state a kind of the first semi-professional footballer of Maccabi Tel Aviv, but his moods and the conduct of the club leaders in front of their biggest star caused a rift that only deepened. The heads of the club did not know how to deal with him. The statement that there is no big player from Maccabi Tel Aviv was not handled correctly by the leading sources. He was suspended from the squad in the 1952 State Cup final against Maccabi Petah Tikva due to general statements and general requests from the management that were not interpreted correctly. In the game, Maccabi Tel Aviv lost 1: 0. Earlier he was suspended from the game against Swedish Malmo, due to not showing up for training on the occasion of his marriage to Bracha. It was clear to all parties that this could not continue.



At the end of the 1953/54 season, a moment after winning the championship, a move was made in the captain's head. Jerry Beit Halevi returned from Hapoel Tel Aviv to his youth club as a coach instead of Gaul Machlis. The 30-year-old Fox has already planned to continue his career in Israeli football - not at Maccabi Tel Aviv and not only there.



In March 1954, the Israeli team played in the World Cup qualifiers in Switzerland against the Yugoslavian team. Beit Halevi, then also the national team coach, was disappointed with the loss that month in Ramat Gan to the Greek team 2: 0 and dropped a bomb when he removed some prominent players from the game against Yugoslavia, including Fox. The captain's armband was transferred to Musi Litvak from Maccabi Rehovot. "Against Yugoslavia we need war players - not technical footballers," he explained of the change. This statement was made at a press conference by the coach and team leaders. She made waves in the press and in public. The team lost to Yugoslavia, which was then one of the leading teams in Europe, only 1: 0.



Football fans accepted the coach's explanation that it was the lack of effort of a number of footballers who were expelled from the team that caused the embarrassing loss against Greece, who came to Israel with a reserve squad due to the strike of the professional players there.

At the end of December, the Israeli team took off for the most magical journey of the period, for a series of games in South Africa that lasted a month.

Beit Halevi wrote in his book: "I may have been wrong when I included Fox on the team's trip to the African continent, but I did not want to be the first coach to remove him from the team. It did not come to him under any circumstances."

Did not want to be free food.

Fox in the team (Photo: Archive)

In South Africa, Fox first made the decision to end his career with the Israeli team, appearing in its ranks 9 times. The debut was in 1948 against the United States team in New York, in its first game as the State of Israel, a game that ended in 1: 3 for the Americans. In his book "Israeli Football Captain" Fox wrote: "My performance in the long journey in South Africa was very short. After 45 minutes in the debut game against the South Transvaal team in Johannesburg, I injured my ankle and asked to be replaced. According to the so-called passive reserve players, according to the active first team players. " Fox no longer played for the Israeli national team, and the captain's film was given to Yitzhak Schneur.



In South Africa, Fox made another huge decision - retiring from Maccabi Tel Aviv after 15 years of play. "During the national team games in South Africa, I felt that the rope that connected me to coach Beit Halevi and some of my teammates was about to be torn," he wrote. "I'm completely out of training and games at Maccabi Tel Aviv. I just sat on the stands and looked for my future."



In one of Maccabi Tel Aviv's games against Lazio in Ramat Gan (0: 2 for the Italians), one of Maccabi Haifa's activists approached Fox and offered to move to it immediately and take on the coaching job. Fox asked for a break to talk to his wife. Another Maccabi Haifa activist, David Avni, a representative of the Maccabi Center in the Football Association, Press and Fox, moved to Haifa and in October 1954, his football career began as a player-coach at Maccabi Haifa.

Celebrating.

Fox (center) after Maccabi Haifa's victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv (Photo: Archive)

Fox changed Maccabi Haifa, moved to four training sessions a week, took care of professional conduct and received financial help for players and the creation of comfortable jobs for them, such as at the Electric Company and the Port of Haifa.

Fox's connection with the Maccabi Tel Aviv players was maintained mainly with Avraham Bandori, Shneur, Zvika Studinsky, Yosla Mirmovich and Shia Glazer.

The latter said of him: "Eli was the greatest player I played with. His dedication made me a center-forward and the goal scorer of Maccabi Tel Aviv. He did in three passes what the whole team did in twenty."



Already the following season, 1954/55, Fox prevented his youth club from winning another title, which reached Hapoel Petah Tikva. "In fact, Maccabi Haifa's victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv 1: 2 also decided the fate of the championship," he wrote in the book, "because my new team took two points from my mother's team. On the day Maccabi Haifa defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv I was full of satisfaction .



Among the teams that Fox coached were Maccabi Haifa, Hapoel Haifa, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Netanya, Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Beer Sheva and Betar Jerusalem. In 1959 he was appointed coach of the Israeli national team, but close to the start of the friendly match in Wroclaw against the Polish national team, the Football Association decided to appoint the famous Hungarian Jew Giola Mandy, whom Fox refused to serve as his assistant



. In 1992, at the age of 68, he passed away.

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Source: walla

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