The Israel national team's journey ahead of the opening of the Euro 2024 qualifiers (Photo: Shlomi Gabai | Video editing: Nir Chen)
The match between Israel and Kosovo at the opening of Group 9 in the Euro 2024 qualifiers will bring together several players from leading leagues or teams.
The Premier League's Menor Solomon will face Napoli's Amir Ramani, and Majorca's Dat Morici will try to overcome Salzburg's Oscar Gloch and Galatasaray's Milot Rashica will play against Celtic's Liel Abde.
A respectable list of players running and kicking in good leagues, but with all due respect to all, the biggest star will stand on the lines and give instructions.
Alain Ziers who coaches Kosovo with only partial success so far (3 wins and 3 losses in official matches) was one of the best footballers in the world in the 80's.
Here are 10 fast facts about a soccer legend coming to Israel.
Second place in the "Golden Ball" in 1982, ahead of quite a few super players.
Jires (Photo: GettyImages)
He was one of the Carre Magique ("Magic Square") - the legendary midfield quartet of France's Euro 1984 winning team, along with Michel Platini, Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana.
In the French national team, he made 47 appearances and scored 6 goals.
Besides the historic victory in Euro 1984 - the first significant title ever for the tricolor - he came with it to fourth place in the 1982 World Cup and third place in the 1986 World Cup.
In 1982 he came in second place in the selection of footballer of the year in Europe, the "Golden Ball", with the only one ahead of him being a striker Juventus and the Italian national team, Paolo Rossi.
In the same year, Giers was ahead of players such as Zbigniew Bonik, Michel Platini, Dino Zoff, Bruno Conti, Brand Schuster and others.
He was elected footballer of the year in France three times: 1982, 1983, 1987. More times than Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, Patrick Vieira and meanwhile also Kylian Mbappe.
In "France Football" he was ranked seventh in the selection of France's "Footballer of the Century", when the 20th century came to an end.
He received more votes than players like Didier Deschamps and Eric Cantona.
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A rib from the famous magic square of the French national team in the mid-1980s.
Ziers (Photo: GettyImages, Eurasia Sport Images)
He was a short playmaker (1.63 meters) who never stops running, steering and managing.
UEFA's official website wrote about his selection for Euro 1984's "team of the tournament": "The diminutive and passionate Geirs was the perfect deputy for Michel Platini.
He knitted the game of the French national team and made it clear why he is called 'Moteur' ('Engine')".
He is the greatest Bordeaux player of all time, with all due respect to names like Jean Tigana or even Ulrich Rama. He leads the all-time table of Bordeaux both in appearances (592) and in goals (182).
On the official website of Bordeaux they say, among other things: "In the long, rich, epic history of our club, 'Zizzy' is still the undisputed number 1.
A monument, a symbol, a legend."
He played in the Bordeaux uniform from 1970 to 1986 and left it only in the last two years of his career, which he spent in Marseille.
With Bordeaux he won two championships and one cup.
In 1989 he returned to Bordeaux as a professional manager and after two years left because of a deep financial crisis in the club.
His coaching career was much less successful than that as a footballer.
He stood on the lines of Toulouse in two different terms and guided Paris Saint-Germain for about three unsuccessful months in 1998.
One of his last matches in Paris was the famous 3:2 loss to Maccabi Haifa which caused a qualifying elimination from the European Cup for cup holders.
Since October 2000 he has not worked in France and since 2004 he has only coached national teams: Georgia, Gabon, Mali (two terms), Senegal, Tunisia and now Kosovo.
Kosovo national team
Israel's national team