If Israel's young team succeeds in beating the Irish team tonight (Tuesday), it will qualify for the Euros for the third time in its history, and make this summer a dream for Israeli football.
This, after the youth team became European runner-up, Maccabi Haifa is playing in the Champions League and even the senior team is one step away from participating in the European Championship.
For the coach of the national team, Guy Luzon, qualifying for the Euros will be a very special closing of the circle.
In 2013, the State of Israel hosted the European Championship tournament for young teams, and because of this, the young team automatically qualified.
Guy Luzon stood on the lines that time as well, and his team obtained 4 points out of 9 in the tournament, but there were all kinds of commentators and football people who claimed that this was the qualification with an 'asterisk', and attributed it to the connections of Avi Luzon, who was then a member of the UEFA Executive Committee and succeeded To bring the Euro here, but if the coach succeeds on Saturday in fulfilling the task - no one will be able to say that again.
No one will appeal, photo: Alan Shiver
But apart from the picaresque, the qualification of the young team to Euro 2023 will open doors for Luzon that might not have seemed to open already, both in Israel and in Europe.
What do we mean?
Well, Luzon was until recently considered one of the four best coaches in the league.
He coached in Belgium and England, but then returned to Israel and achieved promotion to the league and qualification for the top playoffs with Maccabi Pat, he had bad years at Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv, for one reason or another, which damaged his status compared to other coaches in Israel
The lack of success in the big clubs, and also the image that was a little damaged due to the famous incident last year with some of the Malavs fans, meant that at the end of last season the coach was on the crosshairs of Sakhnin and Hapoel Haifa, but when Hapoel BS fired Roni Levy, she did not think at all of the possibility of turning to Luzon , even though he sat at home and waited for the offer. The qualification for the Euros, and for sure if he gets there and manages to record a respectable tournament, can change the line of thinking about him professionally.
He will strengthen the young woman tonight, photo: Alan Shiver
"A coach's life is like a spinning wheel, you can't be on top all the time," says a senior in the league, "Ofir Haim before the success with the youth team was not successful in Hapoel Tel Aviv and KPS, and now he is highly appreciated and this is something that can happen to Guy Luzon as well ."
So the game against Ireland is not only critical for Israeli football but also for Luzon, but he himself does not think about these things at all and concentrates only on the big goal - to qualify for the Euros.
"What does Guy have to be stressed about? He has to come and win. He lives from games like this, from the adrenaline and the madness," said those around the coach, who will hope to become the first in history this evening to reach the Euros for the second time with Israel's young team.
Luzon with the team in training, photo: Alan Shiver
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