Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions of the strongest UEFA national associations. Introduced in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more known as the European Cup, it was a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each national championship; the competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries. It has since been expanded, while most of Europe's national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to five teams. Clubs that finish next-in-line in their national league, having not qualified for the Champions League, are eligible for the second-tier UEFA Europa League competition.
In its present format, the Champions League begins in late June with four knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 6 surviving teams enter the group stage; the 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May; the winner of the Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The competition has been won by 22 clubs. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament's history, having won it 13 times, including its first five seasons. Real Madrid are the reigning champions. Spanish clubs have the highest number of victories, followed by Italy. England has the largest number of winning teams, with five clubs having won the title; the first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, played between Central European clubs.
In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national champion clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent; the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949. After receiving reports from his journalists over the successful Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones of 1948, Gabriel Hanot, editor of L'Équipe, began proposing the creation of a continent-wide tournament. After Stan Cullis declared Wolverhampton Wanderers "Champions of the World" following a successful run of friendlies in the 1950s, in particular a 3–2 friendly victory against Budapest Honvéd, Hanot managed to convince UEFA to put into practice such a tournament, it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season. Sixteen teams participated: Milan, AGF Aarhus, Djurgården, Gwardia Warszawa, Partizan, PSV Eindhoven, Rapid Wien, Real Madrid, Rot-Weiss Essen, Saarbrücken, Sporting CP, Stade de Reims, Vörös Lobogó.
The first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP; the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Real Madrid. The Spanish squad came back from behind to win 4–3 thanks to goals from Alfredo Di Stéfano and Marquitos, as well as two goals from Héctor Rial. Real Madrid defended the trophy next season in their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, against Fiorentina. After a scoreless first half, Real Madrid scored twice in six minutes to defeat the Italians. In 1958, Milan failed to capitalise after going ahead on the scoreline twice, only for Real Madrid to equalise; the final held in Heysel Stadium went to extra time where Francisco Gento scored the game-winning goal to allow Real Madrid to retain the title for the third consecutive season. In a rematch of the first final, Real Madrid faced Stade Reims at the Neckarstadion for the 1958–59 season final winning 2–0.
West German side Eintracht Frankfurt became the first non-Latin team to reach the European Cup final. The 1959–60 season finale still holds the record for the most goals scored, with Real Madrid beating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in Hampden Park, courtesy of four goals by Ferenc Puskás and a hat-trick by Alfredo Di Stéfano; this was a record that still stands today. Real Madrid's reign ended in the 1960–61 season when bitter rivals Barcelona dethroned them in the first round. Barcelona themselves, would be defeated in the final by Portuguese side Benfica 3–2 at Wankdorf Stadium. Reinforced by Eusébio, Benfica defeated Real Madrid 5–3 at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam and kept the title for a second, consecutive season. Benfica wanted to repeat Real Madrid's successful run of the 1950s after reaching the showpiece event of the 1962–63 European Cup, but a brace from Brazilian-Italian José Altafini at the Wembley Stadi
Yossi Shai Benayoun is a retired Israeli professional footballer who last played for Beitar Jerusalem and captained the Israel national team. He played as an attacking midfielder occupying the space just behind the striker. Born in Dimona, he is sometimes nicknamed "The Diamond from Dimona" in Israel. Benayoun played for Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa before moving to Racing de Santander in Spain. Three years he moved to the Premier League with West Ham United, Liverpool. In 2010, he signed for Chelsea, where he was used being loaned to Arsenal and back to West Ham, but nonetheless won the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. After that, he was released by the club and spent a season in the Football League Championship with Queens Park Rangers before returning to Maccabi Haifa. A full international for twenty years from 1998 to 2018, Benayoun is Israel's most capped player of all time with 102 caps, their joint second top scorer with 24 international goals. Yosef Benayoun was born in Israel, to a family of Moroccan-Jewish descent.
His father Dudu was a footballer. Jason Burt of The Independent reports. At the age of 11 he was labelled a genius, by 13, his face appeared on the cover of Israeli magazines. Benayoun began to play with Hapoel Be'er Sheva. To attend training, he hitchhiked the 60 km roundtrip with his father; when he was 15, Ajax invited his family to the Netherlands. By his 16th birthday, he was the Ajax youth team's highest scorer and best player, Ajax duly offered Benayoun a four-year professional contract; however and his family found the adjustment to Amsterdam difficult, they returned to Israel after eight months. At the age of 16, he was promoted to the Hapoel Be'er Sheva senior team for the 1997–98 Liga Leumit, but could not prevent the club from being relegated to Israel's second division. In the last match of the season against Maccabi Haifa, Benayoun got a penalty kick in the 90th minute. Haifa's goalkeeper, Nir Davidovich, saved the shot but Benayoun scored the rebound to give his team the win. However, their relegation rival had won their match, meaning that his team would be relegated nonetheless.
Seconds after scoring, while celebrating the winning and what he thought to be a league survival goal, Benayoun found out about the relegation and burst into tears. Benayoun finished as the league's joint fourth-leading goalscorer that season, with 15 goals in 25 appearances. After that season, Benayoun moved to Maccabi Haifa in a deal signed by Ya'akov Shahar and Eli Zino, it was agreed that the two clubs would share the profits from selling Benayoun to a European club. In 1998, under the guidance of Dusan Uhrin and Daniel Brailovsky and Haifa reached the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup, he scored a late equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain and against SV Ried in a 4–1 victory. Benayoun scored 16 goals in 29 matches for Haifa in the 1998–99 Liga Leumit, finishing the season as the equal eighth leading goalscorer for his team. In 1999, he confronted his manager Eli Cohen, when Benayoun refused to be substituted during a match; this incident, plus a bad month for the club caused Cohen's resignation.
In the first Israeli Premier League of 1999 to 2000, Benayoun scored 19 goals in 38 matches for Maccabi Haifa, was the league's third highest goalscorer. In the 2000–01 season under the guidance of Avram Grant, Benayoun led Haifa to a first championship after seven years and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the season, after amassing 13 goals in 37 matches. Another successful season placed him as the league's equal sixth highest goalscorer; the next season, Benayoun helped Maccabi Haifa win another championship, despite suffering from an injury in the beginning of the season. When he returned to play, he combined well with Đovani Roso, Raimondas Žutautas, Yakubu to win the championship. In his last season with Maccabi Haifa, Benayoun scored. Benayoun made 130 appearances for Haifa. In 2002, Benayoun moved to Racing de Santander in Spain's La Liga, scoring five goals in 31 matches his first season, seven goals in 35 matches his second, nine goals in 35 matches his third, the latter including a hat-trick against Deportivo La Coruña in a 4–1 away victory.
In total, he made 101 appearances for scoring 21 goals. Santander opted to cash in on Benayoun by selling him to his agents Pini Zahavi and Ronen Katsav for €3.5 million. Benayoun rejected a €5 million move to CSKA Moscow, preferring a move to England or to remain in Spain; this sparked a great deal of interest in the player with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bolton Wanderers, Real Sociedad, Deportivo La Coruña seen as suitors. Newly promoted FA Premier League team West Ham United completed the signing of Benayoun in July 2005 for a fee of £2.5 million, with Benayoun signing a four-year contract. Manager Alan Pardew hailed the signing citing Benayoun's ability to'open the door when teams sit deep' while Benayoun revealed his excitement at the opportunity to play for West Ham and in the Premiership, he made his Premiership debut for West Ham on the opening day of the 2005–06 season in West Ham's 3–1 win. He went on to score his first Premiership goal for the club when he netted the closing goal in a 4–0 home victory over Aston Villa on 12 September 2005.
In May 2006, Benayoun played in the 2006 FA Cup Final for West
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli professional football club, based in City of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club plays in the Israeli Premier League. Maccabi Haifa home games are played at Sammy Ofer Stadium; the stadium, shared with rivals Hapoel Haifa, is the second largest in Israel football, with a capacity of 30,780. Maccabi Haifa is one of four clubs in the "Big Four" in Israeli football, it has won Six State Cups and four Toto Cups. Maccabi has won the championship and the cup in the same season one time, was the First Israeli club to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Maccabi Haifa Football Club was established in 1913 in the port city of Mandatory Palestine; as the local football association wasn't founded until July 1928, there were no organized competitions during the season, the club played only friendly matches. After a period of inactivity, the club was re-organized in February 1923; the club playing a handful of matches during the season, including taking part in a cup competition, called "The Hebrew Cup".
Due to its distance, the club was given a bye to the final, which it lost to Maccabi Nes Tziona 0–2. The club was overshadowed by its city rival Hapoel Haifa, but in its first years adopted a adventurous and offensive style of play based on technique and short passes. In 1942, the club reached the Israel State Cup final, but was defeated 12–1 by Beitar Tel Aviv in the final. Maccabi Haifa remained a small, struggling club that spent most of its time shifting between Liga Leumit and the lower leagues. In 1962, the team defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 5–2 in the State Cup final, won the first title of the club. In 1963 it reached the final again, but lost to Hapoel Haifa 1–0 in the first Haifa derby in State Cup final. In the 1980s Maccabi Haifa entered the'Israeli' champions' club, clinching the title thrice. In the 1983–84 season Maccabi Haifa won its first championship, under coach Shlomo Sharf and general manager Yochanan Vollach, overcoming Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv; the Yerukim were known for their "all-around-offense" and flashy technique football style resulting in bad defensive formation and resultant losses.
Sharf's team played with 4 strikers, including: Moshe Selecter, Zahi Armeli and Ronny Rosenthal who were positioned at point and midfield and managed to build their defense around the legendary goalkeeper Avi Ran. A year Maccabi Haifa won a second championship in a decisive performance. In 1986 Maccabi lost the championship in a controversial final match against runners-up Hapoel Tel Aviv; the single goal scored in that match by Gili Landau was said to be scored from a passive offside position, which by the rules of the time should have resulted in a disqualification of the goal and a scoreless draw, guaranteeing MHFC the title. Due to poor TV coverage, the issue has never been resolved. In 1988, Maccabi Haifa decimated Maccabi Tel Aviv 10–0 to earn its biggest win ever; that game, one of the more famous in Israeli's football lore, wasn't televised. Furthermore, it was the beginning of the intense rivalry between the two clubs. In 1989, under the capable hands of Amazzia Levkovic, the club won another championship.
In 1990 Maccabi Haifa established itself as a dominant club in Israel. It began by winning the Double – League championship and the national cup in the 1990/1 season and continued with the introduction of three talented young players: Eyal Berkovic, Reuven Atar and Tal Banin. In 1992 Maccabi Haifa was purchased by Ya'akov Shahar, who became the owner and president of the club. Under Shahar's management, Maccabi Haifa enjoyed financial stability and professional working regulations on a par with European football clubs' standards. Maccabi Haifa's highlight season was 1993–94. After winning the 1993 cup, Maccabi Haifa gave a stunning performance in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, beating Torpedo Moscow 3–1 and Parma 1–0 in the last 16, only to lose on penalties. During the season in the domestic league, the team went unbeaten for the entire season, out of an overall unbeaten streak of 48 games, thus winning a spectacular championship, breaking many Israeli records; the Maccabi Haifa 1993–94 squad including Eyal Berkovic, Reuven Atar, Alon Mizrahi and Serhiy Kandaurov, is considered one of the best squads in Israeli football history.
In 1996 Eyal Berkovic and Haim Revivo, the latter had joined the team the previous season, both left Haifa for European clubs. While the two gained great personal success there, Maccabi Haifa went into a slump; the team's standards of maintaining the services of the manager for multiple seasons was thrown as the team went through several managers during 4 years. As result, the team failed to win the national championship title, despite securing the National cup in 1998. In 1999, under the guidance of the Czech manager Dušan Uhrin, Maccabi Haifa beat French giants Paris Saint-Germain and Austrian club SV Ried to reach the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup. In the middle of the season, Haifa's excellent striker Alon Mizrahi left for French club Nice resulting in a defeat in the CWC quarter-final and a slump in the club's league performance; the club's winning record continued to falter until the arrival of Avram Grant. Former Maccabi Tel Aviv Manager Avram Grant was appointed in 2000 as manager of Maccabi Haifa.
Under Grant's guidance, the team regained its dominating offensive style. Grant, along with a much improved squad, led the club with an unstoppable team, winning the championship. At the center of attention were a series
Mordechai "Motaleh" Spiegler is a former Israeli footballer and manager. He remains Israel's record goalscorer, with 33 goals in 83 caps. Mordechai Spiegler was born in Sochi, Soviet Union, is Jewish, he moved to Netanya, when he was a boy. As a striker, he played for Maccabi Netanya along with Paris Saint Germain in France and alongside Pelé for New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in the 1970s, he was chosen as the Israeli Player of the Year a record four times, in 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, in 1970/71. Spiegler made his international debut for Israel on 2 January 1964 against Hong Kong, he took part in the Israeli win in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup, scored 2 goals at the tournament, which made him a joint top scorer of the tournament. His major achievement was helping Israel qualify for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, he scored Israel's lone goal in World Cup history in a 1–1 draw against Sweden. His 32 goals for the national team is the Israeli record. Spiegler scored 25 goals in 62'official' internationals for the Israeli national side, he played in 21 other'unofficial' matches scoring seven more goals.
Spiegler captained the Israeli Olympic team at Mexico City 1968 which reached the quarter-finals, losing to Bulgaria by a draw after the match ended 1–1. He was nominated as the best Israeli player of the prior 50 years by the Israel Football Association in the UEFA Jubilee Awards in November 2003. Spiegler is a member of the Education and Publicity Committee of the IFA. In 2007, he won a lifetime contributions special award for the Israeli national team in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, determined by Yedioth Ahronoth and the Israeli football player association. Maccabi NetanyaIsraeli Premier League:1970–71, 1977–78 Israel State Cup: 1977–78 Israeli Supercup: 1971, 1978New York CosmosSoccer Bowl: 1977 IsraelAFC Youth Championship: 1964 AFC Asian Cup: 1964 Israeli Premier League – Top Goalscorer: 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69 Israeli Player of the Year: 1965–66, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71 Member of the Israeli Football Hall of Fame Beitar Tel AvivSecond Division:1980–81Maccabi NetanyaIsraeli Premier League: 1982–83 Israeli Supercup: 1983 UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1983, 1984 League Cup: 1982, 1983 Sports in Israel List of select Jewish association football players
Israel national under-21 football team
Israel's national Under-21 team is considered to be the feeder team for the Israel national football team. It has qualified for the European Championships to be held in the Netherlands after beating the French under-21 team 2–1 on aggregate; this team consists of Israeli players aged 21 or under at the start of each two-year UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship campaign, so players can be, are, up to 23 years old. Team members may simultaneously qualify to various teams for Under-20s, Under-19s and Under 17s, or the senior national team, so long as the meet the respective age restriction, it is possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level. The U-21 team has been constructed, following the Israel's acceptance as a full member of UEFA. A draw in a qualifier against Greece in Greece was Israel U-21s' first result. Israel U-21s do not have a permanent home, they play in stadia dotted all around Israel in an attempt to encourage fans in all areas of the country to get behind Israel.
Because of the lack of appeal compared to the senior national team, smaller grounds are used. There is no Under-21 World Cup. European U-21 teams compete with the finals every even-numbered year, it will be held in odd-numbered years from 2007. Israel has never fared well in European Under-21 Football Championships; the current campaign started shortly after the 2006 finals - the qualification stage of the 2007 competition. UEFA have decided to shift the next tournament forward to avoid a clash with senior tournaments taking place in even-numbered years; the competition has therefore been reduced. In their three-team qualification group, Israel finished ahead of Wales. In the two-legged play-off against France for a place in the final stage, the team achieved a surprising 1–1 draw in France and won the home match 1–0, with Amir Taga scoring in stoppage time. Note: The year of the tournament represents the year in which it ends. Note: Club represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.
Note: Club represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. The following players were called up for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against Germany and Norway on 22 and 27 March 2018. Caps and goals as of 28 March 2018; the following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months: UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Israel national football team Uefa Under-21 website Contains full results archive The Rec. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21 Championship hosts and additional statistics, such as the Group Winners table for the 1998 qualifiers
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, governed by the Israel Football Association. Israel's national team is the direct successor of the Mandatory Palestine national football team, which played five internationals in 1934–1940, was managed by the Eretz Israel Football Association. Israel has competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in three different confederations, competing in the Asian Football Confederation before settling in Europe as a member of the Union of European Football Associations in 1994; the Israeli side qualified for their only FIFA World Cup to date in 1970. Israel hosted and won the AFC Asian Cup in 1964, was finalist in 1956 and in 1960. Football has a long tradition in Israel; the game was introduced during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestinian Football Association was formed in August 1928, joined FIFA in June 1929, but at the time the association was made up of Arab clubs, Jewish clubs, clubs representing British policemen and soldiers serving in the region during the British Mandate rule that spanned the period between World War One and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
The British Mandate of Palestine national team made its debut against Egypt in 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, losing 1–7 in Cairo. The team played five international matches, including a friendly match against Lebanon, until the British Mandate for Palestine was dissolved. During those five games, the national team fielded only Jewish players. Three anthems were played before each match: the British "God Save the King", the Jewish "Hatikvah" and the opposing team's anthem. In 1948 the team became the national team of Israel; the Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the USA Olympic Team. The game was won by the USA 1–3, in the 20th minute of the game Shmuel Ben-Dror scored the first goal after the creation of the State of Israel. Israel competed in the Asian Football Confederation between 1954 and 1974. Due to the Arab League boycott of Israel, several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel; the political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales to ensure the team did not qualify without playing at least one game.
Israel won the 1964 AFC Asian Cup. In 1968, Israel lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals. In 1969, Israel qualified for its first and only FIFA World Cup, via Asia/Oceania, earned two points after draws with Sweden and finalist Italy, a loss to Uruguay. In 1976, Israel went to its second Olympic Games and lost in the quarterfinals again, this time against Brazil. In 1972 and 1977, it attempted World Cup qualification as part of Asia, which both times ended in failure. In 1974, Israel was excluded from AFC competitions, as a result of a proposal by Kuwait, adopted by a vote of 17 to 13 with 6 abstentions; the vote coincided with the 1974 Asian Games, where the football competition was marred by the refusal of both North Korea and Kuwait to play second-round matches against Israel. During the 1980s, it played the majority of its matches against European teams, competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, it entered Oceania's qualification stage.
In 1989, Israel made it to the CONMEBOL–OFC play-offs for the 1990 World Cup to play against Colombia, which qualified from the South American group, but lost. In 1991, Israeli clubs began participating in European club competitions, Israel returned to the European leg of World Cup qualifying in 1992. In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership. Within Europe, Israel has been a minor nation, though with some successes, notably winning 3–2 in Paris against France in 1993, 5–0 against Austria in 1999; that year, Israel was beaten by Denmark. Israel came close to advancing to the playoff stage in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, finishing third, behind France, tied on points with Switzerland, which remained unbeaten in 10 matches after 4 wins and 6 draws; the Swiss had a better goal difference and advanced to the qualification play-off. Coach Avram Grant announced his resignation on 26 October 2005. After the end of his contract, he was succeeded by Dror Kashtan. In UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Israel came close to qualifying to final tournament, but finished fourth in Group E, behind group winners Croatia, 1 point behind Russia who with Croatia qualified direct, as well as equal on 23 points from 12 games with England.
The 4–3 home loss to Croatia was the first loss after 13 consecutive official games and 9 home games without a loss. In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Israel again came in fourth, behind Switzerland and Latvia. For the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Kashtan was replaced as coach by Frenchman Luis Fernández, but to no avail, as Israel finished a distant third behind Greece and Croatia; the continued presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to justify its transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation. Source: As of 27 March 2019. Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record In the past, the Israel national football team's home stadium was the national stadium in Ramat Gan; the stadium was the first stadium in Israel to meet world-class standards. Sinc