The Israel national team's journey ahead of the opening of the Euro 2024 qualifiers (Photo: Shlomi Gabbai | Video editing: Nir Chen)
The case of Eran Zahavi and the room, the retirement of Mons Davor and Omar Azili and Dia Saba's latest apology story.
All of these were not part of the Israeli national team's preparation week for tonight's game against Kosovo (Saturday, 20:00).
From the moment they gathered on Monday until they stepped on the grass in Bloomfield, the players of Alon Hazan and Yossi Benyon were only focused on the first game, the game that will open the campaign and probably the most important game.
If the Israeli national team wants to be in Euro 2024, it needs to start on the right foot tonight at the end of Shabbat.
No one underestimates the rival Kosovo.
Everyone counted this week how many players from the French Alain Giers' squad are playing in prestigious leagues in Europe, but it is still a home game and the players of the national team should continue their good performance from the Nations League.
With the leadership of Miguel Vitor, the experience of Eli Desa, the wineries of Neta Lavi, the quietness of Dor Peretz, the brilliance of Oskar Gloch and the exiles of Manor Solomon.
This is a team that does not have a single star.
It doesn't have Zahavi, who took all the focus on him, it doesn't have Davor, who was already hard to withstand the boos towards him, and soon it won't have Captain Beavers Natcho, who will be honored tonight by the audience, the vast majority of whom loved him and sympathized with the transformation of a member of the Circassian tribe into a man who put on his arm the The captain's film with a lot of pride.
If Israel wants to be in the Euros, it needs to beat Kosovo tonight (Photo: Kobi Eliyahu)
This is not the most talented generation that was here and once again we do not have an iron defense, we will surely miss a beat with every corner and stationary ball even if Vitor Ozerah and behind him Amri Glazer is in excellent shape, but Hazan and Benion - who made difficult, unpopular decisions and those that divided the people - will lead the team to the national mission The big one this time and in light of the equality at home, it is necessary to meet the goal: European Championship 2024.
To have a chance, Bloomfield needs a home tonight.
Bloomfield is supportive, but Bloomfield is also inclusive.
The football association boasted this week that the audience expressed confidence in the team and bought all the tickets.
Sold out is beautiful in itself, but it is not enough.
It's beautiful and exciting when you buy all the tickets, but much more important is that those who come will also support.
From the opening whistle to the final whistle, with no boos in between.
The last few weeks have illustrated to the Israeli fan how difficult the 90 minutes can be.
Maccabi Tel Aviv fans are suffering, Hapoel Be'er Sheva fans are seeing narrow victories, even in the stadium in Haifa not everything is going smoothly.
It won't be a walk in the park tonight.
This is not a game you come to sit back in, put your feet up to the seat under you and wait to see why Fulham have signed Solomon or why Red Bull Salzburg believe they will make a beeline for Oskar Gloch.
It's a game that can go to either side with a narrow victory and those who travel to Jaffa tonight with impatience and anticipation for the show, should reconsider their route.
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The donation is not actually getting to the stand.
Israel national team fans (Photo: Barney Ardov)
The trick in such big events is not to be present.
Being present means nothing, because in the end you buy the ticket to be a part of the greatest experience even out of egoistic motives.
The contribution is not actually the presence in the stands or the tens of shekels you paid, but the support, the applause and above all the patience and recognition that we really have no way of knowing what we will get tonight.
We will get one thing tonight for sure, even if there is no victory.
We will receive 11 players, substitutes and those who will remain on the bench, who wanted to be in this gathering.
Those who came without conditions and without faces.
We will get Miguel Vitor who could have been on a family vacation in Portugal right now, but wanted to tie his fate with the fate of Israel. In attack, Maccabi Haifa is the only one that persists in trying to take a share of what is supposed to be a national consensus.
They deserve to be trusted, even if during the game it doesn't show on the grass.
And also the chanting of 'El El Israel', which here became dubious as if the team had no songs, moves and spurs them on.
Israel national teams
Israel's national team