Uriel Degani: "I played in the big teams in the bad times. Bad luck"
Last season ("Abacus changed the team drastically"), career choices ("I did not choose small clubs, it was impossible to know that things would turn out that way"), the economic mess that went through the teams.
Uriel Degani has been experiencing survival seasons for six years, but maintains his position on the team and is appreciated by all his coaches
Friday, May 13, 2022, 2:00 p.m.
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Betar Jerusalem players sing to Yossi Aboksis (Betar Jerusalem)
In the summer of 2016, Uriel Degani signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv for three years (he also played for the team for one year in 2014 as a loanee and returned to Maccabi Haifa) and hoped to start a new career path.
What has he been through since?
So like that, in the first season of the contract the team went into liquidation during the season and relegated.
Hapoel Tel Aviv then demanded that he return the NIS 170,000 he received for the player's card and that he reached an arbitration while on the way he was ostracized until he straightened a line. From him and a number of senior players cut about 65% of the salary.Even when he left the Reds, he did not receive the last salary and a half and completions and was forced to sue the club.
In the summer of 2020, Degani despaired of the Reds and moved to the renewed Betar Jerusalem in hopes of a better and quieter professional and economic future. The 25% cut to which he agreed to be transferred to next season, he may not get.
We'll go back to summing up those years but let's start with Degani smiling these days.
If Betar Yerushalayim held a pool party this week to end the season at Gal Cohen's house, that says it all, especially in light of the fact that there were great concerns throughout the season. Degani concludes: "The season was a nightmare, a difficult season.
Personally I go through a few years like this and it's not new to me but every time it's a new challenge, at least it ended well.
We stayed in the league.
And one can rejoice a little, even with the audience.
"Although that was not the goal at the beginning of the season, but with everything that happened with the owners, the crowd and a lot of players, then we can say that we succeeded."
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Left the troubles of Hapoel Tel Aviv to the troubles of Betar. Degani (Photo: Udi Citiat)
It was not easy for you to move from Hapoel to Betar, straight to the difficult years.
"It's natural. In football when the team is good everything looks better and the players are more valued. I and all the players feel the change since Yossi came. The team has made a radical change. It is more mature, more orderly, more correct. better".
Maybe explain what he did in training and games, what two coaches before him failed to do?
"He worked with us on tactics, he decided on style and method. At first we started with five players on defense and after that most of the time we converted to four on defense, with a strong link. He picked his players and we continued with them, most games we are with 7-8 regular players and more. 2-3 that change. He arranged us on the field, gave us the confidence. It's stopping training on every little thing. On the wrong position, movement, tactical discipline is very important to him. In the smallest things that for him games are crucial. It is difficult for the opponent and it is much easier for our players to show their abilities. "
Degani added: "It should be taken into account that before that we also had problems with injuries, Mehias and I were injured, and after that also Amit Cohen. There were not many players on defense and defenders and ties played in these positions. "Kind of players and quite a few young people in the brake position and not with a permanent brake. Sometimes Tal Ben Haim came back that he is not qualified because there is no choice, and it's not good, the fact that Mahias came back and we played together it stabilized and it looked much better."
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"Abacus worked with us on tactics, changed the method and it worked" (Photo: Danny Maron)
You suffered from the management and the economic rush at Hapoel Tel Aviv.
You came to Betar with Benyon after she finished in third place with expectations for a top team struggling for titles. Wrong a bit didn't it?
Football needs luck and Israel needs even more luck.
It's both falling on a good team and on the right timing.
With Hapoel I went through the difficult years, including relegation and in my last season we finished in the top playoff and I left.
Betar took 3rd place and Europe. Benyon and Roni Levy brought me, we flew in the first game in Europe, cuts, fines, player releases, Benyon and Roni went into a difficult year. You expect one thing and something else happens, these are decisions that affect careers, and in those decisions less "I have had a career. I hope it will turn around for me and I will enjoy a few years with teams in a better position."
Degani added: "People do not quite understand what you are going through, it is frustrating to reach such a situation. I did not come to a small club, I also came to Betar and before that to Hapoel Tel Aviv.
It is never pleasant and does not give peace that you are cut in salary and playing games with you, unfortunately in Israel in football it happens a lot.
In Corona abroad I know those who have not been touched by wages unless they reach an agreement, in Europe there is FIFA that will protect you, in Israel it works less.
Here they cut as much as the clubs wanted, it was a very big blow to the players.
Everyone thinks that everything is rosy with us, but do not understand that the players who play throughout a relatively long career are 12 to 15 years old.
A time when you have to make a lot of money compared to the rest of the market, until at the age of 35 or 36 you have to start all over again. "
"Take mortgages, commitments, have a family and children, cut 30 and 40 percent without blinking, and want to fine and cut you in every corner with other things, it's frustrating. I hope one day there will be a body that will protect the young perfectly as FIFA does abroad . .
He had a difficult year with Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Including a decrease.
Degani in the Red Days with Altman (Photo: Danny Maron)
Maybe it would have been better for you to stay at Maccabi Haifa.
There Yankele Shachar does not play these games.
"You can't expect these things. Even when I came to Maccabi Haifa, those were the club's least good years. I moved to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the less good years and then I moved to Betar, bad luck.
I believe God is directing me where I need to and this is how it should be, maybe it will be fixed later. "
You always wanted Europe, even last summer. You have a contract for another year at Betar, what are you doing with the uncertainty?
"For that I have an agent who looks at the market and examines options. This week we had a graduation party of the season, we are already Otto at the end, and what is happening in Betar is stressful.
Most of the staff do not have a contract for next season, there are 5-6 players with a contract for next season.
It's me, Itamar (Nitzan), Krieff, Zargari, Shua, maybe another one or two, it's nothing.
This is something I have not encountered in a football team where only such an amount of players have a contract for next season, it is a very bad situation.
If things do not happen soon Betar will be in big trouble, another month and a bit need to start training and a lot of players without a contract and do not know what is happening with them. If Betar does not turn up, they will look for new options "
"I'm dying to be at the top and experience good things but something sucks me down. I'm with a Betar contract and expect to hear what's going on. They can decide I'm staying and building a good team and it's good for all of us at Betar. You can do something good, but if you don't have the money, you can't build a good team and move forward, it has to happen soon. "
I have no answer as to what did not work in the team with Rotensteiner. "Degani (Photo: Danny Maron)
Yossi Benyon brought you to Betar and now you are with him in the team. Are you optimistic about the team? Maybe you will reach a big tournament that will cover these years.
"I always believe, amazing things happen in football.
Small teams defeated the largest teams in the world.
Maccabi Haifa defeated Manchester United, Hapoel Tel Aviv defeated Chelsea, that's what's beautiful about football.
It's no secret that we're not at the level of the great teams in the world, everyone knows that. "
What happened to Willy Rotensteiner, you had good games and good minutes but you collapsed defensively.
" I can't explain.
We scored a lot of goals, maybe the most goals in the campaign but we conceded a lot, so we did not do things right on the defensive side.
There were great energies, a great locker room, I have no answer to give why it did not work. "
You know what they say after such losses? There are no brakes.
"It's an easy thing to write in a newspaper or commentary. To say there are no brakes when absorbing a goal. Do not understand that two brakes can not close a team, it's the whole team. It only means brakes. But we got used to it. It's never fun for a player to hear such things, communication in Israel is difficult and not easy communication and you learn to contain it, to know how to relate to what you need and not to relate to what you don't need. "Some, you experience things you do not experience in the country, you play against players from the top of the world, represent the country, these are tremendous challenges."
Coaches like Klinger and today Aboksis hold you back as an anchor and one of the best brakes in the country, but over the years the team has regained your status.
"Thank God I am a senior brake in Israel and I have played in the biggest clubs in the country. I hope to continue in the biggest clubs in the country until the end of my career. I constantly try to progress and be better, I think I do a good job and that's why the coaches who coach me love and appreciate me. "
"I have been in the national team for almost 12 years, except for the era of Elisha who did not invite me. In Maccabi Haifa in the difficult years I was the only one who was invited, in Hapoel Tel Aviv I was the only one in the team.
It is very important in such years, it strengthens you and the confidence in your abilities.
I wish I was at the top, I would have experienced it better. "
You were close to moving to Be'er Sheva in the era of Barak Bachar and the championships. What happened there?
It's part of those moments.
There were negotiations with Hapoel Tel Aviv, things did not close and they brought I think Hatem Alhamid. It's exactly that luck. To fall in a certain club at a certain time and that affects his career. Will compensate. "
"Miguel Vitor on the team? You can't say anything bad about him" (Photo: Udi Citiat)
You have a new brake on the squad, Miguel Vitor.
"Miguel Belem is excellent, you can't say anything bad about him. I know that coaches love him, hold him, prepare for him, he has something to contribute."
Four or five on defense?
"It does not matter. What matters is the form of play. Five in defense can be super defensive or super offensive, depending on how the coach wants to play, I am comfortable with both 5 and 4, as long as I play everything is fine. It is more important to me." .
Every time something happens here, a player's tweet starts a tension between the Jewish players and those in the sector, what do we do?
"That's why we should not put politics into sports, that's the story. We live in a country that has a lot of problems, we have wars. We have terrorist attacks, this is Israel for better or worse and we need to know how to get along in it together, there is no other choice."
By the way, you do not spend too much time with friends and people from football, usually it's just family.
"Yes, I am a family man. Be with the wife and children as much as possible. I have two dear children, On and Aria, On and 6 and Aria are 4.5 soon. I love them very much and I enjoy spending time with them, twice a week I pick them up from kindergarten and with them until evening and all A possible day. And there is another son on the way, really the family is above all. "