Many family members and friends accompany the players of Israel's youth team throughout the World Cup. Gabi Turgeman, father of the national team's star player, Dor Turgeman, landed in Argentina just yesterday, and will watch his son today from a few meters in the World Cup semi-final against Uruguay.
Ofir Haim and Stav Lemkin's press conference ahead of the World Cup semifinals
"I promised Dor a long time ago that if they reach the semifinals I will leave everything and come, and here I am," Turgeman Sr. told Israel Hayom, adding, "I brought my daughter, two nephews, and his girlfriend with me, the one they came with me was supposed to be a surprise for him, but he discovered it by mistake in the family WhatsApp group but he was very happy and excited."
Did you recover from the madness around him after the goal against Brazil?
"I got hundreds of phone calls, nonstop messages on Instagram. I went to bed that day at 4am because I had to answer everyone and thank you and thanks. We exploded in the game against Brazil. You know what it's like to score a goal in such a big feat, to get past two Brazilians, to knock out Brazil with a winning goal and to go to the semi-finals, and in such a position that is even bigger than last year's Euros, it's an amazing thing. On Facebook there were 5.<> million views of his goal and it's very exciting."
How many generations can leverage their success in the tournament?
"There are already about 6-7 teams from Europe who have spoken to us and I'm not just talking about Benfica and Club Brugge. We decided that until after the World Cup we wouldn't talk to anyone and only after the World Cup would we get into it properly because there are a lot of offers. We are not ruling out staying at Maccabi Tel Aviv, they are pressuring us to stay, but there are many aspects that need to be considered, not just the money, and we will make the best decision. Dor built his name, I believe that with God's help, next year wherever he is, he will have a good season and from there the sky is the limit."
Gabi and Dor Turgeman, Photo: Private
How do you see our chances tonight against Uruguay?
"I think it's 50-50. Look we beat Japan who are a very strong team, we beat Brazil who were favourites, I don't disrespect any team but I see us as equals. We have come this far and we must not give up even if we are playing against a team that is twice as good as Brazil, we have to go for the game with all our might, and do everything to reach the final. I talk to Dor and the players are believers, they say, until we get here, we will not give up anything - we will give war. We're talking about one game and not some best-of-2 series, I believe we'll give our soul and win, I believe."
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