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"The losses to Maccabi Tel Aviv? There is no one who can say that we are not the best in the country "- Walla! Sports

2022-05-16T09:50:30.327Z

The pressure on Maccabi Haifa ("criticize every little peep, and on the other hand make you the king of the world"), the personal ability ("maybe you felt lacking because of the bad results") and of course the incident in the court



"The losses to Maccabi Tel Aviv?

There is no one who can say that we are not the best in the country "

The pressure on Maccabi Haifa ("criticize every little peep, and on the other hand make you the king of the world"), the personal ability ("maybe you felt lacking because of the bad results") and of course the incident in Be'er Sheva.

Raz Meir concludes a difficult season and believes: "I have a place on the team"

Nathaniel Ziegler

16/05/2022

Monday, May 16, 2022, 12:00 p.m.

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Maccabi Haifa player Omar Atzili, Sean Goldberg at the championship celebrations with Maccabi Haifa fans (according to section 27 / a of the Copyright Law)

About a month and a half after undergoing surgery on his hip joint following a genetic injury that caused him pain, Raz Meir lowered his crutches and took another step towards the long-awaited return to the field.

Although he was banned from running for four months, the defender has set himself a goal: to be at the disposal of Maccabi Haifa already in the opening rounds of the Premier League, which will start on August 21, and he is determined to meet it.

"I do not know if there are players who did not return to play after such an injury, because it is not common, but I do not know any player in Israel who experienced it and that is why I had surgery in Chicago. Thank God, I feel much better. I started strengthening my leg, doing exercises and treatments and I I hope to return in about two and a half months, "he says in an interview with Walla!

sport.

More on Walla!

Muhammad Abu Fani declares: "I will not leave Maccabi Haifa for just a team abroad"

To the full article

The rivalry against Maccabi Tel Aviv?

It's no secret.

Raz Meir (Photo: Maor Elkelsi)

Meir made 19 league appearances this season and was a full partner in his and Maccabi Haifa's second consecutive championships, but the last 12 league games - in which the team experienced a sharp decline in ability - he had to watch from the sidelines.

"I guess if I played I could help, I feel a full partner for this title, but in the end we are a team and every player has his advantages. The loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv was a bit devastating, it was a joy mixed with sadness, but remember it is a marathon and this championship It marks that Maccabi Haifa was the best team in the country this season. "



You have beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv in the league only once during the two championships.

When will you break this barrier and transfer the dominance in meetings to you?



"It's no secret that there is a very big rivalry between the teams, but we beat them in the league and won the Champions League at their expense, so I do not think there is anyone who can say we were not the best team in the country. Very much, but we took the championship and rightly so. "



In almost every transfer window, Meir hears about players who are candidates to strengthen Maccabi Haifa's right - back position, but each time he manages to make his way into the squad.

"I like to deal with players who come to play in my position, competition is healthy and I believe in myself. Everyone who comes here, no matter what big name he is and how much money they buy him - I will always strive to be at 11, influence and play as much as possible."



Does the criticism from the audience and the media not bother you?



"I feel like this season I got a lot of sympathy from the fans, they started to appreciate me more. Maybe I feel more lacking because of the bad results, but I prefer not to mess with it and do the best I can every time I play. With hand on heart, I felt love and appreciation this season , And even less - I am a professional and need to know how to deal with pressure and criticism. I may feel a little underrated, but for me I really am not - I am aware of my contribution, and the professional team of Maccabi Haifa - including the best coach in the country - appreciates me, knows who I am And it's worth everything to me. "

In Be'er Sheva, a party came out that they did not know.

Raz Meir (Photo: Maor Elkelsi)

Everyone who knows you claims that you are a good boy, but in the game in Be'er Sheva, sides that we did not know came out of you - what happened to Arik Bendo in the half of the game in Be'er Sheva?



"There is a lot of trash talk in the half, probably in a season game between the first and second in the table. We went down to the break after an excellent half and there was a commotion towards the referee on the part of Be'er Sheva players. With us and he gave us the game. I shouted for them to leave him and play football, and then I said the word I said. It was not even aimed at them or God forbid Eric, it was said in the heat of the moment, I did not even look in their direction. I wanted them to play and not the referee, "They literally crushed him something like twenty people. I apologized to Eric already, it was not aimed at him and I am very sorry if anyone was offended by the word I said, but I do not think I should have been removed and the fact that the day after that the judges claimed this decision was wrong."



There is a lot of talk about the fact that Maccabi Haifa players are very nervous and deal with things they do not need.

Could it be that this is actually the "evil" you have been missing in a decade of not taking a championship?



"This is something that was a bit lacking for Maccabi Haifa, this positive evil and roughness, but sometimes we got into fights and were dragged into provocations that we did not need, such as the game against Beer Sheva in Sami Ofer when we lost. It does not come from a bad place, but in the heat of the moment. "They are winners who want to win every game. That's a good thing, but there are cases where we exaggerated a bit and we try to fix and improve."

In the meantime he is engaged in rehabilitation.

Raz Meir (Photo: Maor Elkelsi)

You grew up as an attacking player, tell how you came to be a defender and what position is most comfortable for you.



"I started as a winger in Rishon Lezion, but when I got to the youth of Maccabi Haifa I could not bring the numbers I expected. When Alaa Jaffer was injured in one of the games, Avraham Aboukaret asked me if I wanted to play defensive, I answered yes, "Better on the left than on the right. I'm most comfortable on the right, but I also like to play as a left-back, which is a position I have a lot of advantages in - I can be dangerous to goal, help move a ball from behind and release pressure or deliver a sophisticated ball to the middle."



In the 12 games you did not play, Noble Omar scored one goal.

It's no secret that the cooperation between you was excellent this season, do you think there is a connection between the two?



"Everyone saw that we did a lot of good things together and that our coordination was really good. I do not know if because of me he does not score as he scored in the first half of the season, it may be a less good time overall, but I do feel we understood each other really well. As time went on, it was already a blind understanding. "



Although Noble is three years older than you, you both played in the youth department of Rishon Lezion.

As a kid, do you remember being talked about and marked?



"He stood out even then, trained with the seniors in his teens. I don't know if they talked then as they talk about him today, but I think his move from Maccabi Tel Aviv to Rishon Lezion helped him develop, play more in the seniors and break through. Is it easier to succeed in Rishon than in clubs like Maccabi "Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv? Each player has a different character, but there are many who started in a big club, saw that they did not succeed and realized that it is not a shame to 'go down' to a club that nurtures the players more and helps them gain confidence and minutes."

Soon together in the team?

Raz Meir with Dean David (Photo: Maor Elkelsi)

You won two championships with Maccabi Haifa, but also survived a relegation with Hapoel Ashkelon in the very last round.

Where did you feel more pressure, bottom or top struggles?



"Maccabi Haifa has more, but it's a positive pressure. You are criticized for every little peep and on the other hand you quickly become the king of the world - it is the most well-known club in Israel. It is not pressure that lowers you, on the contrary, it spurs. It's the best. It requires a lot of mental work, it's an aspect that is a very important factor in sports. As time goes on, more and more professionals realize that the mental aspect is even more important than the professional. When you want to get stronger you go to the gym. "A profession. It can be a psychologist, a mental trainer and even someone fighting like a father. Personally, I do it beyond the group setting. As I get older and I understand the importance of it."



Israel team, is this a realistic goal for you?

Will you be part of the staff?



"I was supposed to get a summons already at the last gathering, but because of the injury it did not come out. I hope I will recover, go back to the groove and get a summons - that's the dream. I feel I should have been on the squad this year, yes, I feel I have a place. In Israel today, but I think I have a place. "



You said at the beginning of the interview between the lines that Barak Bachar is the best coach in the country.

What makes it so?



"Barak understands football at the highest level, he has a crazy team that works with him for years and in general Maccabi Haifa has a crazy team. In every aspect a footballer needs - we have the best professionals in Israel."



As an attacking player who grew up in the first, how to play in front of the Maccabi crowd and be part of the team that won the championship twice after a difficult decade?



"Honestly, I have not seen a team like Maccabi Haifa in Israel. In every hole you are in, there is a fan who talks to you, who lives the team and who is important to him. The amount of sympathy for this club is insane - something really inconceivable. Our fans have an integral part in the last two championships ".

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Source: walla

All sports articles on 2022-05-16

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