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"In Be'er Sheva they put my legs on, Avitan did everything so that I wouldn't play" - voila! sport


He started his career as a stopper, converted to a striker and became a great scorer and king of goals. Herzl Pitosi recalls his rich career at Maccabi Petah Tikva, the difficulties in Beer Sheva and the missed opportunity at Maccabi

"Ahead of the 1983/84 season, I signed a contract with Hapoel Be'er Sheva, under coach Eliyahu Ofer. So, 40 years ago, Be'er Sheva was different, far from the big city of today. When I came to practice with my new Autobianchi car, they thought it was a new luxury Mercedes. I talked with some of the players and I was shocked by the low salary they received in their contracts.

"My relationship with Shalom Avitan was not good, in my opinion he did everything to prevent me from playing regularly, he went to Ofer and acted on the issue.

Things happened, they put a lot of legs on me.

I would finish training and go home, there weren't many places to hang out or cafes like now."

Give an example.

"That season we finished in seventh place in the league. In the quarter-finals of the cup we finished against Hapoel Tel Aviv in a 2:2 draw, I scored one of the goals. In the return match we also finished after extra time at 2:2, I scored a goal and also a penalty with 11-meter kicks. The evening of the final against Hapoel Lod, we stayed at a hotel in Bat Yam, in the final training I practiced in the starting lineup, Ofer told me I would start. My surprise was huge when I didn't start in the end. He only put me in 10 minutes before the end of legal time. The game went to penalty kicks, I missed a penalty, we lost 2:3 And the trophy went to Lod. I can say that I stayed in Hapoel Be'er Sheva, only because of the excellent financial contract I signed. After I left, Be'er Sheva brought in Dubik Ramler."

grew up to be a scorer.

Herzl Pitosi (Photo: Maariv, Reuven Castro)

Herzl Fitosi will soon be 70. He was born on May 31, 1953. "My parents immigrated to Israel after the establishment of the state from Tripoli, Libya. We are nine children, four girls and five boys, I am the Benjamin of the group. I grew up in a garden, in a long one-room shack, we raised chickens and trees Perry. Father had a modest grocery store in her room. Later we moved to Petah Tikva Street in Netanya. In elementary school I attended Tachmoni, a religious state school. Most of all I loved running around the neighborhood around soccer. I am married plus three and have five grandchildren. To pass the time , beyond the parliaments with the guys, I work three times a week as a taxi driver."

How did football start and the breakthrough?

"In the neighborhood between the houses there were grassy areas, on which we played soccer after school. Maccabi Netanya had a scout named Julius who came to watch the children, I was scared when I saw him. When he called me I ran home. Julius found out who I was, went to my older brother Baruch who was well known in the city. He convinced My brother sent me to the Maccabi Netanya boys' team, to coach Israel Fleischer who promoted my abilities. I put in a lot of effort and quickly moved up to the youth team."

At first you will be assigned as a brakeman.

"I was in the position of rear brake, libero. I was invited to the youth team alongside Roni Luria, Uri Sliman, Avi Binyamin and more."

But you are known as a goalscoring striker.

How did it happen?

"The method of the youth championship games was determined at the time in a three-way tournament of the three districts - North, Central and South. We played against the champion of the northern district, Hapoel Kiryat Haim, on the morning of the game, our outstanding striker, Benny Rubinstein, fell ill and was released from the game. Our coach was Shmuel Perlman, who called me for a short conversation and informed To me because he entrusts the central striker position to my legs and head. He did not give me the opportunity to react, I am the center forward of Maccabi Netanya. We beat Hapoel Kiryat Haim 1:2, I scored both goals and became the team's striker and later on in my career."

Lots of memories, good and bad.

Today's pitos (photo: Yehats)

Who were your inspiration players?

"The first player I loved and admired was Motel' Spiegler. I stayed for his training sessions, I followed him in the Saturday games. When Spiegler coached Maccabi Jaffa, he wanted me to come and play for him, a move that didn't come to fruition. I admired Eli Ben Rimoush, who reminded me of Johan Cruyff and "Andrew Best".

In the 1970/1 season he went up to the seniors.

"It was the great championship season of Maccabi Netanya and David Schweitzer as the coach. Schweitzer had an attacking team. The young players were only supplementary players for training and on the bench. My part in the title was that I participated for 20 minutes as a substitute in one of the games, when the championship was already decided."

And as usual in those days, let's make a mess?

"I saw that my career was not going in good directions, a mess started. I insisted on leaving the team for another club, I wanted to play football and prove that I was a worthy player for Israeli football. The release came, but not easily. There was no one to fix me like there were other players in all the clubs, they sent me for combat training in one of Golani's divisions. I understood that a footballer would not come out of me after three years of service in Golani. I did the usual problems, I was in training mainly as a camp guard until I was transferred to the third division in Ramat Gan. I moved to play for Maccabi Herzliya, the base major, Yaakov Karp, was an ardent fan of Maccabi Petah Tikva and he allowed me to go to training."

After Herzliya, he came to Beitar Netanya. "The 1975/76 season was a good offensive season for me, Beitar Netanya finished in second place in the second league, League A at the time, after Hapoel Acre, and missed qualifying for the National League by one point. The guard over me was tight And stiff. The coaches said, 'You don't play, Fitussi doesn't touch the ball either.'

A show in Derby.

Pitosi in the center, Nissim Cohen on the right, Eyal Baglevter on the left (Photo: Maariv, Reuven Castro)

The next stop was the most significant of his career.

"I was invited to a meeting with the heads of Maccabi Petah Tikva Aryeh Zeif, Danny Beglavter and Nachman Mendel. I submitted my financial offer, 50 thousand pounds not including grants. I saw that they almost choked on the offer, but the next day Danny Beglavter came and closed the contract, I came to training and everything was closed and signed".

He did not start the season well.

"I just opened a cafe in Netanya that was very successful and made me good money, I completed the purchase of the new apartment in the city through it. In the first round I really didn't hurt, the reason was that I worked at the cafe until 2:00 in the morning and the training and games seemed to match. I left the cafe, I returned to the soccer track, under coach Lazer Spiegel we returned to the top league together with Bnei Yehuda. I scored ten goals."

In the 1978/79 season, Nahum Stelmach coached Maccabi Petach Tikva.

"As a child he was the player I admired, I really loved training under a huge football player like him, an amazing person. We barely survived the season, we didn't get relegated. At the beginning of the season we went to a training camp and games in Europe. In France we played against Bordeaux, I scored a great goal. At the evening of the Bordeaux managers They arrived at the hotel and asked to enter into negotiations for the purchase of number 10. I was standing before a wedding and the issue was obviously dropped."

In the 1979/80 season, a great moment came - the Petach Tikva derby in which Maccabi defeated Hapoel 1:5.

"There was a majority of Hapoel fans, 5,000 of them, about a thousand of Maccabi Petah Tikva. Hapoel's defense guarded me, Nissim Cohen was free. He abused their players, passed them repeatedly between the legs. Their player fell and Cohen waited for recovery and passed him again between the legs. With Nissim Cohen I had telepathy in the game, he was a perfect footballer for me, it was also fun to play with a huge midfielder like Yitzhak Makmel the engineer. Hapoel blew up the game. It was a game in which I did not score. We had dozens of fans clinging to the players at the end, including fan number 1 Reuven Shabi. I remember the happiness on his face from that victory, a smile that has not been erased from consciousness."

Another huge coach of his was Yosla Mirmovich, "a great football man. He let us play free, attacking football, he didn't shout at players, what he had to say he said to the player quietly in a conversation or in practice in training."


Seltzer (Photo: Danny Maron)

He finished the 1980/81 season as top scorer.

"Maccabi Petah Tikva finished in fourth place, I scored 22 beautiful goals, I was in top form."

Who throughout your career were the brakes you had a hard time against?

"I had a hard time against tough stoppers who played very hard and with a stiffness that could end a career. I had a hard time especially against Mozzi Leon, Icha Drucker, Rachmaninovich and Jano. In fact, the toughest Chaim Bar didn't play wildly against me, we were good friends. The Giants' Defense Hapoel Kfar Saba played against me with sporting fairness."

Maccabi Tel Aviv has already signed a long-term contract with you.

"I met with the manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv Yaakov Kastenboim, alone without a lawyer accompanying me. We closed a contract for three years in exchange for an apartment, plus a certain salary and bonuses. I was happy to move to one of the biggest teams in Israeli football, with the big names, the championships and the cups.

But this transition did not happen.

"Zavik Seltzer cast an unequivocal veto on my release. About a month ago I met with Seltzer and he told me that he wanted me with him and was not ready to release me. I then put pressure on the heads of the club, at Maccabi Tel Aviv they were waiting for my transfer. I told Maccabi Petah Tikva to compare the Their offer, otherwise nothing will help."

And then a surprise?

"The manager of Maccabi Petah Tikva, Gadi Carmeli, called me, he came to pick me up and drove me to Hasmar Street in Tel Aviv. We stopped at a car sales agency, and Carmeli told me, 'Choose any new car you want, tomorrow it's yours.'" He added that Seltzer's veto is sharp Meaningful. I chose a Lancia Delta car straight from the nylons. I stayed another season at Maccabi Petah Tikva, a big mistake because Maccabi Tel Aviv should have been my next team and it definitely floats in my mind even today."

From Maccabi Petah Tikva Pitosi arrived for the season fell in Makhtesh.

"I moved to Hapoel Ramat Gan with expectations for a top flight with names like Turk, Avraham Lev and Nimrod Dreyfus, at the end of a disgusting season we were relegated to the national league because of the goal difference against Maccabi Jaffa."

After Beer Sheva he also had two years in Hapoel Lod.

"I had a hard time there. I talked to coach Aharon Kapitolnik and thought about going back to business, but then Hapoel Ashdod coach Jacky Dekel approached me and offered me to join his team in the B League. He told me the money there was better than the national league. They told me to get on the Egged bus, and get off at the final station, where the Ashdod managers were waiting for me, who took me to the Hapoalim Council. I demanded a high financial contract, they sent me with their captain Rafi Nidam to have lunch at a restaurant and return. When I returned, the contract was signed, I asked to add an official stamp and it was done quickly. I was there for 3 years Greatness, a huge and supportive crowd, I enjoyed every day in the team, we went up from the second league to the national league."

From Ashdod he came to Hapoel Ashkelon.

"Coach Eran Kulik offered me to sign with his team, I received an extremely high signing bonus. We started the season in League A with three victories, in the fourth game we drew at home against Hapoel Beit Shemesh, I left the field in a car accompanied by the police. The next day I returned the financial bonus and retired from football."

with two who collaborated with him in different groups.

Fitosi in the center with Carlos Adri (right) and Avraham Lev (Photo: Yehats)

You live in Netanya, do the fans recognize you?

"Netanya is a different city, it doesn't resemble the city I knew, not like it used to be when the people of Tel Aviv used to come to hang out there. The city center today doesn't remind anything of the days 40 years ago, the city was panicked, on Fridays almost everything is closed. The older fans recognize me easily, the younger ones don't You know who I am. I don't watch Israeli football, it's not interesting, I like Italian football and enjoy Napoli. The meetings of the past players do me good, the memories of those days do good for the soul."

  • sport

  • Israeli soccer

  • Super League


  • Maccabi Petah Tikva

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-03-30

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