The scouting department at Maccabi Haifa has worked on several fronts in recent years.
Besides tracking foreign players, Gal Alberman has a list of Jewish players who have the potential to strengthen the club.
The fact that the Israeli market is small has forced the sporting director of the champion to think outside the box, even if it means checking eligibility for citizenship as was the case with midfielder Ali Muhammad (he eventually accepted), or the signing of a striker like Mavis Chibuta last January (so far he is struggling professionally ), who is considered Israeli but holds a Congolese passport.
Alberman and his team did not think that their attempts to strengthen the team would have much significance ahead of the Champions League match against Juventus, which will take place at the end of Yom Kippur.
In fact, the fact that the squad has six foreign players, three naturalized and another Jewish goalkeeper who came from the USA, will allow coach Barak Becher to go up against the Italians with a lineup of players who do not fast on Yom Kippur, and who will be able to prepare as usual for the meeting against the Italians.
Somehow, a situation has arisen in which every position on the field has a foreign player, a citizen or one who is not connected to Yom Kippur, such as midfielder Muhammad Abu Fani.
Josh Cohen in goal, defenders Daniel Sondgren and Pierre Curneau, the two foreign defenders Dylan Betobinsika and Edu Laisak, midfielders Ali Muhammad, Muhammad Abu Fani and Charon Sherry, and in the front part Franzadi Piero is a foreigner, while Nikita Rukavica and Mavis Chibuta are on the standard of citizens, all One of his parties.
"This is beyond the scouting system," the club explains.
"There is a legal department that is responsible for naturalizing actors. This was the case with Nikita Rukavitsa, who is the easiest case, because he is married to an Israeli, and of course the face."
The last case of Ali Muhammad, where excellent work was done in front of the Ministry of Interior."
Maccabi Haifa also gains a professional advantage over its rivals here.
In fact, the Greens have ten players on the roster, some of whom are foreigners or brought from abroad, while any other team is only allowed to sign six foreigners. If defender Daniel Sondgren also gets citizenship, due to his partner's Jewish roots, Haifa will be able to add another foreigner and further expand the the circle.
"The Israeli market is very poor in quality players who match the levels that Maccabi Haifa is targeting," says an official at the green club.
"Omer Atzili, Dolev Haziza or Neta Lavi, there are not many in Israeli football, and it is very difficult to produce such players. Gal Elberman saw this, and so did coach Barak Becher, so we prepared differently and thought of all the ways to strengthen the team within the framework of what is allowed and possible. To our delight, it was successful, and towards The game against Juventus took on another dimension, one that helps even more professionally."
Barak Bacher, photo: Alan Shiver
Learn from Shimon, but not only from him
In Haifa, they somehow copied the model that works well in basketball - where the number of citizens is greater, and teams play in Europe with an almost unlimited number of foreigners.
"Teams in Cyprus have reduced gaps from the highest levels in Europe, with the help of not limiting the number of foreigners. Here, too, this year, factually there is a reduction in gaps against senior teams in Europe, but there is also an excellent and relatively large Israeli base."
In fact, Becher's squad currently has 29 players, of which 17 are Israelis, but the number includes two goalkeepers, some young people, injured and those who don't really play.
When you say "long staff", Haifa's takes on many meanings.
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