"Ahead of the 1982/83 season I received several offers to play in the top league, then Leumit, from Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Maccabi Haifa and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Maccabi Tel Aviv was coached by the shark, David Schweitzer. He brought me from Liga A, from Hapoel Ashkelon, and Avi Cohen z"l from the magnificent Liverpool. My salary was $100,3, higher than his. At that rent, you could buy 4 or 312 apartments."
But why you and why Ashkelon?
"Hapoel Ashkelon was then a city of football, the fans filled the stands, everyone talked and connected with the team. The coach who brought me to Ashkelon was Alex Springer, Hapoel Holon's big star, but for personal reasons he left and a huge coach came in the person of Gigi Cohen, who was an outstanding goalkeeper and also an excellent striker. Gigi improved all types of kicking with both feet, and my connection to the quick exit from the spot, to turn it into goals. The fans were in crazy love for me, calling me 'Nomader Maradona'. I gave a lot of goals in Ashkelon and many coaches came to watch my games, they saw my love for the striker role and the connection to score goals non-stop. I am the top scorer in the top three leagues, I have <> goals not including the State Cup, much more than Alon Mizrahi. Do you think it's easy to score goals in the second and third divisions?"
Were you the coach on the field?
"Absolutely yes, I was the guy steering the game from the pitch, I had no problem telling everyone what I thought on and off the team, they knew what was sitting on my heart would come out of my mouth."
No regrets. Shoko Nomdar (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
Yaakov "Shoko" Nomader was born on 5/10/1957, the eve of Yom Kippur. "My father immigrated to Israel from Russia, my mother from Afghanistan in 1950. We arrived in the Argazim neighborhood in the HaTikva neighborhood, and later the family, with five children, moved to Kiryat Shalom. As a child I studied at Givat HaShalom School, which is now Nofim. In high school, I studied at ORT Yad Singalovsky. I got married at the age of 18 and a half, now this is my second marriage, I have eight children, four from the first and four from the second, with the eldest being graduates of combat units such as Givati, Shayetet and the commandos. I have five grandchildren and the eldest of them will soon have a bar mitzvah. I live in Tel Aviv and work in private business."
Where does the famous nickname 'Choco' come from?
"In Kiryat Shalom, we were all the children in the Or Noy youth club. I was one of the biggest naughty ones there. One day the guide called me and asked me to be serious, he let me be in charge of distributing a bun and chocolate milk to the children, and it became a regular job of distributing to 8 children who ran after me and called 'chocolate chocolate.' It's preserved to this day, I'm the original chocolate milk."
Football in the neighborhood, he says, tempered him. "It's about being on the ball almost every day. At the age of 200, I crossed the main road between home and the training ground in Kiryat Shalom and joined Maccabi Tel Aviv, the team I loved most. Two years above me, in the boys' team, Avi Cohen played. I played for Maccabi Tel Aviv until I was 10, and then I left for Kibbutz Hulata to join the youth society, only after two years did I return home to Kiryat Shalom."
Are you starting to play for Hapoel Kiryat Shalom in Liga G?
"Everyone knows the pitch in the heart of the neighborhood, I scored dozens of goals that helped Hapoel Kiryat Shalom rise to Liga Bet. From there I moved for good money to Hapoel Kafr Qasim, who enjoyed my 16 goals. At the age of 28 I already had two children, like most superstars in Israeli football at the time."
Let's go back to Maccabi Tel Aviv. There is an amazing story about you and Benny Tabak.
"Maccabi Tel Aviv was at a training camp in London. The players were stretching and getting ready for practice when David stopped practice and said to me and Tabak, 'Who's faster among you?' The competition was half a lot away, I suggested Tabak give him a four. I easily got the F-15, I was the F-35. These are really facts, there are no regrets here."
Did you have an argument on the bench with David?
"There were many media people around Maccabi Tel Aviv who did everything possible to create a quarrel between me and Schweitzer. It's true that in the cup final against Hapoel Tel Aviv, with Landau's goal, David replaced me, I didn't like the substitution, but I never had a conflict with him. He wanted me later on in all the teams he coached. I was a candidate for a call-up to the Israeli national team several times, but one journalist, whose name I won't mention, always created a reputation for me as a player provocateur and went to the coaches to speak against me."
One journalist spoke. Nomadar (Photo courtesy)
Did you have any offers from Europe?
"There were many actors' agents who wanted to take me to England and France, but I was married with children, I didn't know French and English, I was scared and I refused all requests."
Money, dollars was the name of the game for you?
"Absolutely, I didn't care what league I played, I played for the money, for the color of the dollar. Whoever paid a dollar got five dollars back. There were several meetings with Moshe Dadash and Avram Levy's Beitar Jerusalem, but as with Bnei Yehuda, I made it clear that the tasks of moving up or staying in the league cost money, for a scorer you have to pay. Not everyone was prepared for the large sums I asked for, at Beitar Jerusalem I demanded a much higher sum from Uri Malmilian."
Still, Maccabi Tel Aviv has only four league goals and three more in the cup.
"Maccabi was my first season in the top league, the brakes against me were toughest in the most severe way, hanging on my back against my powerful game. In the derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv, 0-0, I was sent off in red because of an incident with Hapoel defender Yossi Zana. I would play with the rigidity and power of dismantling brakes like Ali Othman, Motzi Leon, Menashe Alawa and Haim Bar who couldn't stop me. It's a shame there wasn't VAR then, another 100 penalty kicks would have been whistled."
Another 100 penalties would have been whistled. Nomdar scores from the white dot (Photo: Maariv, Yehonatan Shaul)
Why are you leaving Maccabi for Beitar Tel Aviv after a year?
"I've already said that the dollar will answer everything. I had a contract with Maccabi for another season, but then the owner of Beitar Tel Aviv, Shalom Ganish, told me to bring the contract from Maccabi Tel Aviv, and he would pay me double. I managed to get out of Maccabi Tel Aviv and move to Beitar Tel Aviv."
Excellent season with Nissim Cohen?
"An excellent season for a team that finished the season in sixth place, my excellent goal season, imagine that I am in second place in the top scorer table with 15 goals, ahead of David Lavi of Maccabi Netanya with a lone more goal."
Tell about the incident with Udi Ashash.
"I already played for Beitar Tel Aviv, the neighborhood against Schweitzer's Beitar Jerusalem. I handed a pill to Nissim Cohen, and then I hit the heart key. I fell down and saw that it was number 6 Udi Ashash. In the 40th minute I went in it, dismantled it. They had to break down a door to carry him out. That's when the law came in that stretchers are mandatory on every football field."
Nomader in the gallery with Jimmy Turk and Moshe Sinai (Photo: Maariv, Adi Avishai)
Do you leave Beitar Tel Aviv after a season and move to Hapoel Lod?
"Amatzia left Beitar, Nissim Cohen also left, the management changed and I didn't get along. I moved to Hapoel Lod, but they didn't pay what they promised, so I left there quickly. At the end of the season, Beitar Tel Aviv and Hapoel Lod were relegated to the national league."
Mickey Mandelblit cannot be refused.
"Mandelblit was a senior member of the Beitar Center and the determinant of the soccer team. He asked me to return to the team and move it back up to the first division. I couldn't say no to him, we went back up through second place together with Beitar Netanya. I scored 11 goals that season."
Then you moved to the crater.
"Hapoel Ramat Gan ran into great difficulties in the National League. I came to the team after the tenth round because of a ban from the Football Association, for having my player card in my hand, on my own. My exiles kept the team in the league."
Then a dream season under Shia Feigenbaum at Hapoel Jerusalem.
"Shia is on the lines and Michel Dayan is by my side in midfield. We easily finished first in the table. I scored 21 goals, most of which resulted in 3 precious points. I finished second in the scorers' table, behind Ofer Dan of Hapoel Tiberias with 24."
Dream season. Nomadar in Hapoel Jerusalem (Photo: Maariv, Naor Rahav)
You had a huge goal against Maccabi Jaffa.
"One of the most beautiful goals scored here. Michel Dayan lifted a ball into the corner of the 16th, Botvika and another player approached me, so I gave up the tackling option. When the ball was in the air I threw myself high, arranging my legs in the air and scissors left between the beams, the referee took a while to realize that the ball was in the net, a goal from the land of exiles."
An amazing story in the neighborhood - you take Bnei Yehuda down the league and get applauded.
"In the 1983/84 season, Bnei Yehuda was struggling with relegation. I, who grew up in the neighborhood, played for Beitar Tel Aviv. The pressure on me not to win was heavy, they said, asking me not to make an effort. A win would have kept them in the league at the expense of Maccabi Yavneh. I told coach Levkovich that I was injured, couldn't play Saturday in the neighborhood. Amatzia told me to sit on the bench, but brought me up in the starting lineup. I won with Beitar 0-4, I scored three goals. At the end the fans applauded me, I played like a raging bull."
In the 1989/90 season you recorded a painful disappointment at Maccabi Yavneh.
"I moved to Maccabi Yavneh a good team with intentions of qualifying for the top league, alongside me Benny Tabak played. We tore our bodies all season, but in the last round game the Football Association allowed Hapoel Tel Aviv to conduct ourselves strangely against Maccabi Amidar, which suffered 6-0. Our victory over Beitar Netanya was not enough due to one goal, we remained in the second division. As far as I was concerned, I promoted Yavne Liga, the association was silent. Later I moved on to Hapoel Ashkelon for two more years, suffered a calf bone injury, I was already less enthusiastic about the goals I scored, I moved to Beitar Be'er Sheva for another half season and here is the finale, I retired at the age of 35 from my favorite game."
And if we mentioned Ashkelon, Yossi Pratuk, editor of the Ashkelont website, testifies: "Nomdar was considered during his time at the club to be the greatest player who played in the city, a player who allowed himself to smoke a cigarette in the dressing room. Choco was a colorful man in town who said things out loud that he thought without fear. If he didn't like someone, they knew it immediately throughout the city, a real leader. His goals were almost all goals in the paint, the fans were in a frenzy. Just because he played in the third division he wasn't invited to the Israeli national team."
What actors inspired you in your youth?
"I especially liked Hapoel Tel Aviv defender David Primo, a classy actor. Shia Feigenbaum's ability excited me, but I didn't want him to succeed because I was a big Maccabi Tel Aviv fan. Of course, I liked Giora Spiegel's acting ability."
The difference between football then and now?
"Take for example the players of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, compare to today's team, can we even compare? There used to be football, today it's nothing like it."
Who was the biggest defender you played against?
"There is no doubt, number 1 was Nir Alon from Hapoel Petah Tikva. He was fair, made 8-meter glitches and wouldn't let me breathe. I did everything to get him out of focus, including boxing out of frustration, didn't help me. Nir Alon was the only one who drove me crazy."
Same temperament, same passion for goals. Luis Suarez (Photo by Getty Images, Agencia Gamba)
Which striker do you compare yourself to?
"Without a doubt, to Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Compare the two of us, with the same temperament, the same physique, and the love of watching the net lovingly collect the ball. But there's nothing we can do, everyone is born in his own time."
Do you go to football matches today?
"Football today doesn't interest me, show me a better striker in Israel today than me, and then we'll see what I say."
- Israeli football
- Maccabi Tel Aviv Football