The youth team players celebrate qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Cup (Photo: Israel Football Association)
The Euro 2024 qualifying campaign began for Israel with disappointment following the 1-1 home win against Kosovo at Bloomfield Stadium and the 3-0 loss to powerful Switzerland, but in the upcoming window Alon Hazan and his players have a chance to significantly improve the situation at home. To do so, they will need to beat Belarus next Friday in Hungary and three days later Andorra in a game at Teddy Stadium.
Alon Hazan held a press conference today, in which he said: "The league ended about two weeks ago and we need to prepare our players so that they will arrive ready, refreshed and hungry. We will seemingly meet teams who may be underdogs against us, but we are looking at the campaign after failing to get three points against Kosovo and Switzerland. The goal is not two games, but to qualify for the Euros at the end of the campaign and for that we have to take three points against Belarus and then three points against Andorra as well. One or another apparent advantage over an opponent does not give you anything, because in order to realize it you have to come determined and do things. Once we don't do that, all the seemingly pre-match favorites don't exist. We are a good team and in order for us to show our abilities as a good team, we have to improve."
"I've been in the job for almost a year now and I've never given too much weight to the players who are missing, but to those who are here," he said. "I would like everyone to be healthy and have them at our disposal, but we are a team and we need to show things that make a team unique and not individual players. We will only relate to the players who are here and can do it."
Prestressed. Hazan (Photo: Yotam Ronen)
The coach was asked about the atmosphere in training this week: "From my last days with them in training, I am full of compliments to the players. The actors came with an attitude that surprises me at levels that manage to obscure any thought that someone might be somewhere else. They work in difficult conditions, both in terms of weather and because it's a period of recess. They understand the importance of themselves and the national team. They represent something bigger than just getting on the pitch."
On the players who are expected to go on to the Euros Under-21 after that, Hazan said: "The first game of the young team is on the 22nd of the month and we finish on the 19th. We focus first and foremost on the graduate and there is excellent cooperation with Guy Luzon and with the system that surrounds the teams in order to do things at the highest level. What is currently on the agenda is the success of the senior team, and then they will turn to the young team."
On the success of the national team in the World Cup and the importance of the teams' success on the country: "I am the coach of the national team, but I also love football and am a citizen of the country. They do heroic work there, Bonnie, Ofir and everyone who works behind the scenes and of course the actors who bring it to the pitch at the end of the day. It's a pride to walk around a few days after the games and hear how much joy and joy it does. There are also a number of players who could have made the senior team and I pray that the national team will continue that dream - if we reached the last four we deserve as much as any other team to win the title. Every moment in our country is accompanied by a tragic or sad moment that has nothing to do with sports and at the end of the day we represent a country. We also saw Dor Turgeman make a moving gesture, our job is to make Israeli football and the State of Israel happy. Our ability to do good things will also bring comfort to the country and help glorify it."
On the inclusion of young players in their squad: "Yossi's and my approach is to summon young players and give them the stage even at the price of paying dearly. You can't earn players without letting them play. You don't have to wait one day, but invite actors, give them the stage and let them forget. I think it's right to do that and make them experienced players in the national team even at the age of 22-23."
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"Behaving properly." Abu Fani (Photo: Maor al-Qasalsi)
On Abu Fani's return to the squad: "I have said in the past that he will return to the national team if he shows good ability. He knows what the rules are and behaves properly. He shouldn't feel different or get a warning call."
On Omar Atzil: "I actually called him up to the national team, professionally I thought he was worthy. A situation arose that caused him to come to a discussion that may have opened wounds in him and he felt it. I understand Omar's decision not to make the Israeli national team, because before he is a footballer he is a person with a family. He made his choice and it is honorable, but if a situation arises in the future that will allow him to be brought back, then we will make a professional decision."
"I understand Omar's decision not to make the Israeli national team, because before he is a footballer he is a person with a family." Noble (Photo: Udi Zitiat)
Goalkeepers: Daniel Peretz, Omri Glazer, Yoav Jarfi.
Defense: Doron Leidner, Avishai Cohen, Ayed Habashi, Eli Dasa, Ofir Davidzadeh, Sagiv Yehezkel, Shawn Goldberg, Raz Shlomo.
Midfield: Oscar Gloch, Dolev Haziza, Gabi Kanikovsky, Dor Peretz, Ramzi Spuri, Mohammed Abu Fani, Dan Glazer, Manor Solomon, Neta Lavi.
Attack: Liel Abda, Thai Bribo, Sean Weissman, Dean David.
- Israeli football
- Israeli national teams
- Alon Hazan
- Israel national team
- Muhammad Abu Fani
- Omer Noble