Jacob Peled remembers that game well in the 1990/1 season. "The season under coach Ze'ev Seltzer began with Beitar Jerusalem at the top. The Gulf War led to the departure of foreign players and changes in the lineup. I was in top form that season, we went to an away game in the box against Maccabi Netanya. I burst from the wing, passed a defender, and tried inside the area to overtake another player before kicking a goal. Maccabi Netanya midfielder/defender Slobodan Drapić came to me in a strong glitch braking attempt, I felt like a tank had entered my ankle. At the first boom I shouted 'Penalty, Pendle', but then I felt the sky fall on me. I lay on my back, lifted my leg and didn't see my ankle getting stuck in the grass.
"Drapich was a huge, strong player, two meters by two meters, at least that's what he looked like. I looked for my ankle and didn't see it. The players from both teams surrounded me, they sent a quick glance and immediately grabbed my head. The injury was serious, my ankle joint came out of place, I broke my calf and tore my ankle ligaments. I thought maybe I could have jumped and escaped the glitz, I realized on the grass that my injury is for life, I remember it every day and every hour. The greatest love of my life, football and Beitar Jerusalem, went down the drain in one big boom. The game, by the way, ended in a 0-0 draw."
How was the injury treated in the hospital?
"I had three surgeries by Dr. Frankel. They put platinum and a screw in my ankle, I had more surgeries to remove the platinum, after a long time I tried to return to light training, but edema and swelling formed. It was a very difficult story for me. I tried to return to training later on, I lost natural speed, and the ability to break through rounds, I didn't have the sharpness I was used to."
Were you angry with Drapich? Did he visit the hospital?
"I wasn't angry or angry with him, in my opinion he didn't do it on purpose. It's part of the profession and the risk of being a footballer. He didn't call or visit, I imagine it was hard for him."
You will read about this gate below. Yaakov Peled (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
He did not give up and the following season, 1991/2, when Beitar was in the national league, tried to make a comeback. "I returned to Beitar when Eli Ohana returned from Europe, Ronen Harzi also arrived and it was difficult for me with 60 percent of the ability to take a place in the starting lineup."
Then came an attempt at rehabilitation in Section Ness Ziona and Maccabi Sha'areim.
"Beitar Jerusalem thought that a return had to go through another club, where I would play regularly and others from the injury. I moved to Ness Ziona and Maccabi Sha'arim, and I quickly realized that my football chapter was dead. I decided to pull down the curtain on the world of football that flowed through my body and soul, to retire and move on to a new and fascinating chapter. I decided to start studying, not an easy decision for someone who didn't even have a matriculation certificate."
"Yaakov Peled was Beitar Jerusalem's great talent who came from youth," recalls his coach at the time, Ze'ev Seltzer, "a talented fast striker with scoring abilities, a guy who loves football and is very hardworking. The injury of misfortune subsequently ended his promised career. Such an injury today would have been treated more advanced, and he would have recovered. I'm glad that of every bad thing, later came the big good thing for him."
A completely different career after football. Yaakov Peled (Photo: Niv Eden)
Peled is married to Limor who works in the State Attorney's Office, with three daughters, is currently involved in sports and a regular participant in triathlon competitions throughout the country. He was born on October 3, 23 in Israel. "My parents came to Israel from Tunisia in the early 1970s. We are five children, I am the middle. They met in Israel, first living in Dimona and Be'er Sheva, and later we moved to Moshav Mevo Beitar in the Jerusalem corridor. I studied at the regional 'Judean Hills' school in Mateh Yehuda, and my friends were from the surrounding moshavim."
Do the memories of the moshav remain to this day?
"I enjoyed every day and every morning at work picking orchards, peaches, plums, cherries and more. Working in the chicken coops, marketing and smelling the dew on the orchards remains to this day, I believe that I will return to being a moshavnik."
How did the great love for football and Beitar Jerusalem grow?
"For as long as I can remember as a kid, I've been attached to the ball. I went to sleep with the ball next to the pillow, I went to school with the ball, I was more on the soccer fields in the community than in the classrooms, studies were not the issue, everything was in my head and my feet were around the football."
Did your parents support you?
"My late father Eli supported me with love, he would accompany me to all the training sessions and games even though he wanted me to learn to be an accountant. Mom Maggie would come to the games at the YMCA and so the whole family, I was a key cog in the house."
Against Maccabi Netanya in Bloomfield. Left: Roni Levy (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
He joined Beitar's youth team. "I met a group of stars like Ronen Schwaig, Shmulik Levy, Ilan Elharar and Eitan Mizrahi, under the guidance of the late coach Shaul Mizrahi. I would leave at 7:00 A.M. for school, from there straight hitchhikes or buses to train at Bayit Vagan. As they say, in summer, winter, autumn and spring. I returned home to the moshav after 20:00 P.M., it was natural for me and Beitar Jerusalem flowed strongly in my blood."
Who were the actors you admired as a teenager?
"The beloved and admired actor was, of course, Uri Malmilian. Watching him practice, play and deal with the ball was fascinating for me, imaginary. Of course I loved Danny Neumann, Yossi Mizrahi and Eli Ohana. I loved coming to the games on Saturday at the YMCA, being in the crowd, feeling the electric energies and seeing by the result the discourse that will be on the street throughout the week until the next game."
He was called up to the youth and youth teams. "At that time in the mid-<>s, the publicity and headlines surrounding the boys' team were at their peak. Coaches like Gigi Cohen, Amnon Raz and Shlomo Scharf promoted me. Coming home with the national team shirt was a great pride, a feeling that my dreams were coming true alongside names like Roi Hadad, Tal Benin, Mohrer, Ben Shimon and Zohar. Shlomo Scharf invited me to the Olympic team."
What were your professional abilities that impressed at the time?
"I was stationed on the wings in attack, right or left, a wing striker. I had dribbling and breakout ability, explosive power, and long slalom breaks into the wide."
Who were the first coaches at Beitar to identify and dedicate time to you?
"The first person who promoted and brought me to train with the graduates was Motala Spiegler, a coach who loved to promote talent from the youth. Spiegler left and Eliyahu Ofer gave me a few games to add confidence and ability."
Excited to play with the stars. With Uri Malmilian (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
What was it like for you to play and be with the big names?
"It is impossible to describe in words, to be on the field with my biggest idol, Uri Malmilian. To hear Eli Ohana by my side, Yossi Mizrahi, Schwartz, Avi Cohen, Momo Shirazi and the others - a long tremor surrounded me."
His goal against Beitar Tel Aviv still reverberates. "It was a top game at Ramat Gan Stadium in the tenth round. Tel Aviv was a very strong team. Dror Kashtan placed a number of young people in the starting lineup, me and Amir Cohen. They led 0-1 in the opening, but then I cooked up a goal for Malmilian, who scored another. In the 85th minute we led 1:2, the ball reached me at half-time, I passed two players in the center on the speed on the dribble, I went on and passed Shlomi Amar, I dribbled on past the national team defender Yaron Preslani, I put Arie Habib to bed, and in front of the exposed net I rolled the ball into the net 1:3. A crazy gate, everyone surrounded me with great joy, I saw Malmilian with his winning smile, I thought the whole country heard and saw this move."
You can guess where the inspiration for the gate came from. "I was fascinated by the 1986 World Cup, the player I followed the most was Diego Maradona, his every dribble move was magic, Diego was a role model for me."
Summer came and with it the grand final against Maccabi Haifa, with Ofer Mizrahi's goal and Beitar's victory on penalties. "In the semi-final against Beitar Tel Aviv I came on as a substitute and injured my back muscle. Dror Kashtan was angry and told me, 'I looked at you and you didn't do the heating properly.
The big moment. Peled passes Aryeh Habib on the way to the gate (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
After the decision to retire from football, the first chapter of life ended. Begins your new chapter, life after football.
"Football is out of my life. I didn't care and didn't go to games. I decided to go to school and start from nothing, I took all the matriculation exams in my first year. I learned and took from football concepts of daring, initiating, reaching peaks and not missing out, taking leadership and responsibility. I disconnected from the old life, into a new world I had created and built. Today in my senior position I speak and lecture about the similarities between business and football, it was easier for me in my studies because I had a love and talent for numbers since childhood."
What was your path of progress in your studies?
"Bachelor's degree in economics and accounting, and obtaining an accounting license. MBA in academic studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem."
Yaakov Peled currently serves as Director of the Retail Division at Bank of Jerusalem and as Deputy CEO of Yair Kaplan.
Peled's goal - 13:17 minutes in the video
And yet we will ask - at least in your mind it's hard for you to leave the YMCA, isn't it?
"The memories of the YMCA are forever, when I visit the Bank of Jerusalem branch next to the lot once every two weeks I go there, look with holy reverence at the remnant of the wall, try to breathe in the air and the memory of what will never return."
- Israeli football
- Beitar Jerusalem
- Bank of Jerusalem