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The greatest and most beloved legionnaires in our history - voila! sport


Avi Cohen or Berkovich? Motel Spiegler or Banyon? Celebrating 75 years of love for Israeli sports: choosing the 75 favorite sportsmen and women in our history

Many moments of happiness and pride.

Avi Cohen in Liverpool (Photo: GettyImages)

To select the 75 favorite sportsmen and women in the history of Israeli sports, click <here>

Israeli soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Israel, which over the years has produced some of the most beloved stars in the country.

Sometimes the disappointments from the Israeli national team cause many to scoff at the industry, but soccer fans in Israel have always felt a deep emotional connection with soccer.

We have unique, real talents in the country, who have proven that they can star even at the highest levels, in the most prestigious arenas, and fulfill the European dream.

Looking back, it turns out that quite a few Israeli players managed to leave a mark, and gave us quite a few moments of pride.

In honor of the festive project of Walla!

In collaboration with Toto, which marks 75 years of love for Israeli sports, it's time to choose: who do you think is the most beloved legionnaire in our history?

One of the first on the list is

Motel Spiegler


The younger generation only knows the older Motella, the former player with the unique sense of humor, but he was once the real deal.

Super talent.

A star on the field, and off it.

Personal charm, a big mouth, who produced several statements that entered the pantheon.

Beyond his success with the Israeli national team, he was a well-known name in the world.

In the 1970s Spiegler was the promising acquisition of Paris Saint-Germain, in media he scored ten goals in 23 games.

Then came the official stamp on his international status, when he signed with the star team New York Cosmos, of the soccer league established in the USA, where he played alongside King Pele. What an honor.

He was the real deal.

Super talent.

A star on the field, and off it.

Personal charm, big mouth.

Spiegler (photo: Bernie Ardov)

At the same time, there was

Giora Spiegel

, the "genius" of Maccabi Tel Aviv, who at some point realized that the Israeli league was smaller than him.

Talented and determined, with a lot of audacity and self-belief, Spiegel proved that he is fearless - and entered the closing year to go abroad. He moved to Strasbourg, and justified the decision, and in style: from the central midfield position Spiegel scored 19 goals in the first two seasons in the top French league. Later also He became the captain of the team, moved to Lyon, continued to conquer and impress also as a stopper, and demonstrated to the young country that, despite everything, it knows how to grow talents. Then he became a successful coach, and to this day is considered the man who brought the professionalism of Europe to Israel. In 1979, one of the biggest transitions took

place Once upon a time in the history of Israeli football:

Avi Cohen

Signed at Bob Paisley's Great Liverpool.

In those days, Liverpool was the most famous club in the world, an English empire, the eternal champion, which decided to bring the great stopper of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

It is doubtful whether there will ever be such a prestigious transition in Israeli football.

The most heroic day of the one called "Abila" was in Liverpool's championship match, where he scored an own goal, and then corrected with his own goal, en route to a 1:4 win over Aston Villa.

In the 1980/81 season he played for Liverpool in the European Champions Cup, winning the final with them.

This is an achievement that is unlikely to ever be repeated.

Avila's death broke the heart of an entire country, but his formidable resume and captivating smile will remain forever.

A legend in Mechelen, and in Jerusalem.

Ohana (Photo: GettyImages)

A legend that really happened.

Rosenthal (Photo: GettyImages)

Liverpool provided football fans with some more unforgettable moments, with goals that still warm the heart on the Gold channel and in the nostalgia movies.

Ronnie Rosenthal

, for example, carried Liverpool to the championship, and that's really not an exaggeration.

In 1990 the beloved striker scored seven goals in the last eight rounds, and is still remembered as a hero at Anfield thanks to that crazy finish.

Of course, he also played in Watford and Tottenham, led Bruges to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, but his days in Liverpool alongside Kenny Dalglish and John Barnes are mythology. In the biggest arenas.

We will not forget

Yossi Benyon either

, "the diamond", who fulfilled a fantasy that every soccer player dreams of: to score a winning goal against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu in a Liverpool uniform!

In the Champions League!

He impressed at the Spanish Racing Santander, moved to England and also played for West Ham, Chelsea and Arsenal - but he will forever be remembered for his heroic moments in Liverpool's uniform, in front of the whole world.

Already at the age of 15, "the boy from Dimona" entered our hearts, with the appearance in the boys' team and the tears in the relegation of the Beer Sheva league, and since then he has become a consensus.

It was impossible not to love the humble Yossi, our Yossi.

"The Kid from Dimona" moved us all.

Building (Photo: GettyImages)

We already knew in real time, this is a one-time talent.

Barco (Photo: GettyImages, Stu Forster)

It is customary to say about the Israeli footballer that he can only succeed in the local hothouse, but there were others who proved that it is also possible otherwise.

Eli Ohana

, the king of Beitar Jerusalem and perhaps the most beloved sports player ever in the capital, moved to Belgium and gave a historic season in 1988 when he carried Mechelen on his back to win the European Cup. He scored four goals on the way to the Champions Cup final, and in the final he skillfully scored the winning goal against Ajax. His goal against the Australian national team became one of the most famous goals in the country's history, but later he became a real legend, when he returned from Europe to the second division in Israel in order to elevate Beitar Jerusalem to the first division, and later win the championship with it.

It is hard to find such idols in today's football.

Sylvie Jean

She showed the Europeans that even among women Israel knows how to produce talent, and even though there was no proper infrastructure or league here, Jeanne became a success, moved to the Norwegian league, finished as the runner-up of the top scorers in one of the seasons, and became a well-known name in the country.

It is not easy to be a famous soccer player in Israel, but Sylvie, apart from her huge talent, also had a personal charm.

And last but not least, of course the "magician"

Eyal Berkovich

, who may not be considered the greatest in terms of numbers and personal statistics, but in terms of talent he was truly one-off.

Whether it was at West Ham or Celtic, Manchester City or Southampton, Barco was a genius, a joy to watch.

After his retirement he made quite a few headlines and scandals, but on the field he was probably the most talented thing that came out of here.

It is no coincidence that to this day he is remembered in England and was chosen by "The Times" as one of the greatest moralists in the history of the Premier League.

There is something to be proud of, there is something to miss.

Voila system!

Sports, in collaboration with Toto

  • sport

  • Israeli soccer


  • Il Berkovic

  • Ronnie Rosenthal

  • Eli Ohana

  • Motel Spiegler

  • Avi Cohen

  • Giora Spiegel

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-04-27

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