Ben Sahar: Wikis


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Ben Sahar
בן סהר
Personal information
Date of birth August 10, 1989 (1989-08-10) (age 20)
Place of birth    Holon, Israel
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Striker / Winger
Club information
Current club Espanyol
Number 14
Youth career
2002–2006 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Queens Park Rangers (loan)
Sheffield Wednesday (loan)
Portsmouth (loan)
De Graafschap (loan)
03 (0)
09 (0)
12 (3)
00 (0)
16 (5)
013 (1)   
National team2
Israel U17
Israel U18
Israel U21
06 (5)
01 (0)
13 (8)
17 (5)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 20:16, 24 January 2009 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 22:14, 23 October 2009 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Ben Sahar (Hebrew: בן סהר‎; born 10 August 1989 in Holon, Israel) is an Israeli footballer who currently plays as a striker or winger for RCD Espanyol. Sahar is known as one of Israel's brightest talents, according to former employers Chelsea. At just 16, he was already the equivalent of a second year apprentice at Chelsea.[1] He first caught Chelsea's eye in an Under-16 fixture against Ireland in 2004 and has since played for the Israeli Under-21 national team and the Israeli national team. Before transferring to Chelsea, Sahar was on the Hapoel Tel Aviv books, and while he was promoted to the first team by the manager Itzhak Shum, Sahar did not feature in any matches due to his transfer being completed before the start of the 2006–07 season.

Before coming to Chelsea, he got Polish citizenship (his mother Batya is of Polish origin), which grants him an automatic right to play in the UK, as Poland is an EU member state.[2]


Early career

Sahar began playing football in his hometown of Modi'in, Israel. There he was enrolled in the Sportop Football Academy, before joining the youth ranks of Hapoel Tel Aviv.[3]



Ben Sahar signed for Chelsea of the English Premier League in May 2006 from Hapoel Tel Aviv FC for £320,000,[4] having previously spent a two-month period on trial at Stamford Bridge.

Sahar was called up to the Chelsea first team to play Macclesfield Town in the FA Cup on January 6, 2007 and made his debut coming on as a substitute for Salomon Kalou in the 76th minute. Four days later, Sahar came on as a substitute in the 60th minute of Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers in the Carling Cup. He made his Premiership debut on January 13, 2007, coming off the bench to replace Arjen Robben in the 82nd minute of the match against Wigan Athletic[5]. He later made two additional Premier League substitute appearances for the Blues that season, against Manchester United and Everton.

Queens Park Rangers

Sahar joined Championship side Queens Park Rangers, on loan, for the beginning of the 2007–08 season, on 26 July 2007, for an initial three-month period. He followed this up with two goals in a pre-season friendly against Premier League side Fulham, earning Queens Park Rangers a 2–1 win. Following this, his loan-deal was then extended to 2 January 2008.[6] Sahar suffered numerous injuries during this period and did not manage to score during his nine league appearances.

Sheffield Wednesday

After Sahar returned from an injury-plagued spell at QPR, Sheffield Wednesday completed the signing of Sahar on an initial one-month loan from Chelsea on February 21, 2008.[7] This was extended until 19 April,[8] and again until the end of the season on 4 May 2008.[9] Sahar scored his first goal for Sheffield Wednesday against Crystal Palace on March 22, 2008. He followed this up with further strikes against Scunthorpe United FC and Norwich City. The latter goal was important as it ensured Sheffield Wednesday's survival in the Championship.

Sahar finished with three goals from twelve appearances for Sheffield Wednesday in his second loan spell in the Championship.


On June 12, 2008, it was reported that Ben was in Holland to discuss another season-long loan with Dutch club NEC Nijmegen[10]. However, according to NEC officials a deal could not be signed with Sahar due to financial issues. Instead he agreed to a six-month loan deal with FA Cup winners Portsmouth[11] and on July 1 he was officially unveiled as a Portsmouth player.[12] Sahar joined Premier League side Portsmouth on a six-month loan deal on July 1, 2008, and was given the number 26 shirt.[13][14][15] He featured regularly in pre-season for Portsmouth, making 7 appearances and scoring against Nigerian Premier League champions Kano Pillars, Conference South side Havant and Waterlooville, and Southern Football League Division One South & West side Gosport Borough.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

However, Sahar was forced to endure yet another unsuccessful loan spell. Despite being involved in many of Portsmouth's pre-season matches, Sahar did not play once for Portsmouth; he was an unused substitute in three of their matches. “If I had played a few games and they said I wasn’t good enough, then fine. But the fact is that I haven’t been given that chance to shine,” Sahar said of his disappointment at not being given one opportunity to prove himself.[23]

De Graafschap

Sahar joined Eredivisie side De Graafschap on loan on January 2, 2009. He played for De Graafschap until the end of the season. He played his first match for De Graafschap in a friendly against Turkish club Sivasspor. He scored his first two goals for De Graafschap in a friendly match against Belgian team K.V. Mechelen. He scored his first goal in the Eredivisie on 17 January 2009 in his debut match, against Willem II. After only 17 minutes, Sahar received a pass from Luuk de Jong and then curled the shot into the top corner, after passing a defender in the 18-yard box. His second goal came in an away game against fellow relegation strugglers, Roda JC. His third goal for De Graafschap came in a home game against SC Heerenveen. In this game, the Israeli finished well to score the game's first goal with his left foot, after good play from Luuk de Jong. His fourth and fifth goals came in the home game against NEC Nijmegen. Sahar scored a penalty for the opening goal after missing an earlier penalty attempt. He scored his second goal of the match with a close range strike. This match finished in a 2-2 draw. De Graafschap finished second-bottom in the 2008-09 Eredivisie. This meant that they would have to participate in play-offs with teams from the Dutch second division in order to retain their place in the Eredivisie. In their first play-off match against MVV Maastricht, Sahar scored a goal within 60 seconds of the match's commencement to set up a 3-2 away win for De Graafschap.

Sahar finished with 5 goals and 1 assist in 16 appearances for De Graafschap in the 2008-09 Eredivise, and in the relegation playoffs he scored 1 goal and made 2 assists in 6 games making of a total of 6 goals and 3 assists in 22 games.


Sahar moved to Espanyol for a fee of £1million on a four year deal, after leaving Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2009.[24] He was presented with the No.14 jersey. On August 2, 2009, Sahar scored two goals in a friendly match against Liverpool as a substitute, also picking up the man-of-the-match award in a 3-0 win. These were the second and third goals of the match, scored at the club's inaugural match at their new stadium, the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.[25] Sahar scored his first league goal for Espanyol on September 23, 2009, with a header in a 2-1 victory over Málaga; also his club's first goal at the stadium in a competitive match.[26]

International career

On October 7, 2006 Ben Sahar made his debut for the Israel U-21s in a playoff against France - scoring Israel's goal in the away leg which ended 1–1, on the way to Israel's shock qualification to UEFA U-21 Championship 2007 with a 2–1 aggregate win.

On February 7, 2007, at the age of 17½, Sahar became the youngest player to ever play for the Israel national football team, in a friendly match against Ukraine (a feat since surpassed by Gai Assulin). In doing so, he became Chelsea's youngest player to earn an international cap.[27] He earned his second cap against England on March 24, 2007, coming on as a substitute in the 69th minute. Sahar became the youngest player to score for the Israel national football team in his third appearance with the team on March 28, 2007, scoring two goals against Estonia as a substitute in Israel's 4–0 win. This was the youngest international goal scored by a Chelsea player.[27] Sahar scored his third international goal on September 6, 2008, with an equaliser in the 90th minute against Switzerland in a 2010 World Cup qualifier[28], following up with his fourth and fifth international goals a year later in the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on September 9, 2009.

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. March 28, 2007 Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel  Estonia 3–0 4–0 EURO 2008 qualifier
2. March 28, 2007 Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel  Estonia 4–0 4–0 EURO 2008 qualifier
3. September 6, 2008 Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel  Switzerland 2–2 2–2 World Cup 2010 qualifier
4. September 9, 2009 Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel  Luxembourg 6–0 7–0 World Cup 2010 qualifier
5. September 9, 2009 Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel  Luxembourg 7–0 7–0 World Cup 2010 qualifier


As an Israeli citizen, Ben Sahar was due to return back to Israel for a three-year spell of national service. However, Israeli law makers were working on a legislation (nicknamed "The Ben Sahar Law") that would have allowed Sahar to complete a civil service term in Britain instead.[29] The law did not pass and as a result, Sahar was drafted into the IDF.[30] Under the terms of his military service, he will go to his base every time he is on vacation in Israel.[31]

Notes and references

  1. ^ "New Season's Training Started on Monday" (HTML). Chelsea FC. 2005-07-10. Retrieved 2006-07-13.  
  2. ^ "Chelsea sign Tel Aviv teen" (HTML). The Jewish Chronicle. 2005-06-01. Retrieved 2006-06-07.  
  3. ^ Ein-Dor, Izzy (2007-07-04). "שוקו, לחמניה ובן סהר" (in Hebrew). Yedioth Ahronoth.,7340,L-3421283,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-04.  
  4. ^ "Chelsea capture Israeli starlet" (HTML). Sky Sports. 2005-05-31.'capture+Israeli+starlet'. Retrieved 2006-06-07.  
  5. ^ "Tactical Formation". Retrieved 2007-07-02.  
  6. ^ "QPR to keep Sahar until January". BBC Sport. 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-08-08.  
  7. ^ [1] Retrieved on 9 June 2008.
  8. ^ [2] Retrieved on 9 June 2008.
  9. ^ [3] Retrieved on 9 June 2008.
  10. ^ "NEC make Sahar move". 2008-06-12.,19528,11095_3680935,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  11. ^ The Jewish Chronicle - Sahar to play up Pompey
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Chelsea loan Sahar to Portsmouth". BBC. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  14. ^ "Sahar Joins Pompey". Portsmouth F.C.. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  15. ^ "Portsmouth F.C. First Team Squad". 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  16. ^ "Exeter 1-1 Portsmouth Match Report". Portsmouth F.C.. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  17. ^ "Swindon 1-3 Portsmouth Match Report". Portsmouth F.C.. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  18. ^ "Dorchester 1-1 Portsmouth Match Report". 2008-07-21. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  19. ^ "Kano Pillars 0-5 Portsmouth Match Report". 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  20. ^ "Ajax Cape Town 1-2 Portsmouth Match Report". 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  21. ^ "Havant & Waterlooville 0-4 Portsmouth Match Report". 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  22. ^ "Gosport 1-4 Portsmouth Match Report". 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  23. ^ "Chelsea's Sahar Slams Portsmouth". 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  
  24. ^ "Sahar leaves Chelsea for Espanyol". BBC Sport. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.  
  25. ^ . 2 August 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009.  
  26. ^ . ESPN Soccernet. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009.  
  27. ^ a b "Sahar gratitude for honour".,,10268~1027166,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  
  28. ^ "Sahar scores crucial equalizer for Israel". Jerusalem Post. 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2008-09-10.  
  29. ^
  30. ^ "בשעה טובה ומוצלחת, בן סהר עלה על מדים והתגייס לצה"ל..." (in Hebrew).  
  31. ^ Ein Dor, Izzy (2008-10-06). "בן סהר התגייס: "גאה להיות כמו כל ישראלי"" (in Hebrew). Yedioth Ahronoth.,7340,L-3606009,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-07.  

External links


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