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Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa FC.png
Full name Maccabi Haifa Football Club
מועדון הכדורגל מכבי חיפה
Nickname(s) The Greens
הירוקים (Hayerukim)
Founded 1913[1]
Ground Kiryat Eliezer, Haifa
(Capacity: 14,002)
Chairman Israel Ya'akov Shahar
Manager Israel Elisha Levy
League Israeli Premier League
2008-09 1st (Champions)
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

Maccabi Haifa Football Club (Hebrew: מועדון הכדורגל מכבי חיפה‎, Moadon HaKaduregel Maccabi Haifa) is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 11 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups. The club was founded in 1913, and 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 Haifa. It was a small, struggling club that spent most of its time shifting between Liga Leumit and the lower leagues. The club was overshadowed by its city rival Hapoel Haifa. But even in its first years the club adapted a very 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. In 1962, the team defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-2 in the State Cup final. In 1963 it reached the final again, but lost to Hapoel Haifa 1-0.

In the 1980s Maccabi Haifa finally entered the Israeli champions' club, clinching the title thrice (in 1983/84, 1984/85 and 1988/1989 seasons). In the 1983-84 season Maccabi Haifa won its first ever championship, under coach Shlomo Sharf and general manager Yochanan Vollach, overcoming Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv. The Yerukim (Greens) were known for their "all-around-offense" and flashy technique football style, often resulting in bad defensive formation and resultant losses. Sharf's team played with 4 strikers, including: Moshe Selekter, 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 later, Maccabi Haifa won a second championship in a decisive performance. In 1986 Maccabi lost the championship in a controversial final match against runner-ups 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. 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 (CWC), beating FC Torpedo Moscow 3-1 and Parma A.C. 1-0 in the last 16, only to lose on penalties. During the season in the domestic league (then called Liga Leumit), the team went unbeaten for the entire season, out of an overall unbeaten streak of 48 games, thus winning a spectacular championship, and breaking many Israeli records. The Maccabi Haifa 1993/4 squad including Eyal Berkovic, Reuven Atar, Alon Mizrahi and Serhiy Kandaurov, and 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 Avraham Grant.

Former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Avraham 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 almost unstoppable team, winning the championship. At the center of attention were a series of virtuoso performances by Yossi Benayoun, including what some consider to be several of the finest goals in Israeli league history. A spontaneous burst of celebrating fans onto the pitch caused a tragic disaster. A young fan, Amir Rand, was crushed against the guarding rails and left comatose.

A year later, Grant won a second championship, relying on a trio of foreign footballers: Giovanni Rosso (Croatia), Raimondas Žutautas (Lithuania) and the young Nigerian striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu. Following the second championship, Avraham Grant left Haifa for the Israeli national team and was replaced by then Israel U-21 manager Itzhak Shum.

In 2002, Haifa made Israeli club history by becoming the first Israeli team to qualify for the group phase of the UEFA Champions League. In the group phase, the team defeated Olympiacos and Manchester United. Haifa managed 7 points overall scoring 12 goals, and finished in the third place, securing a place in the UEFA Cup.

In the 2003/4 season Maccabi Haifa, led by ex-Maccabi footballer Ronny Levy won the championship mainly due to the poor showing of the other league teams. Maccabi Haifa youth club (ages 16–18) won the domestic championship, and an Israel national kids team of Maccabi Haifa players won Fox Kids World Cup for 12-year-olds.

History was made during the 2005/06 season. After months of indecision regarding the contract of Ronny Levy, it was renewed and Levy guided the club to eleven straight victories in the first eleven games of the Israeli Premier League season. This was also the key to Maccabi Haifa taking the league title after building a strong lead. While the club enjoyed great domestic success, it was not as fortunate in European play. Though Haifa was a seeded team for the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, it drew the strong Swedish club, Malmö FF. Haifa lost both matches.

In the 2006/07 season, the club played against Liverpool. In the first game of the third round of the qualifying matches held in England, Haifa's Gustavo Boccoli scored on the 29th minute an advantage that lasted just four minutes. Craig Bellamy evened the score and in front of 40,000 local fans, Haifa stood bravely up to the 88th minute when Mark Gonzales scored the winning goal for the hosts. Due to the security situation in Israel, the return match was not held in Ramat Gan but in Kiev, Ukraine, at the Valery Lobanovsky stadium, with 1,700 spectators. The game ended in a 1:1 tie. The last twenty minutes of the game were stressful for Rafa Benitez's players. Indeed, the giant Peter Crouch gave his team the advantage (54) and an away goal, but Roberto Colautti (63) tied the score and from here on the movement towards the host's goalpost became one-sided. The tie score sent Haifa to compete in the UEFA Cup.

In the return match in Bulgaria, Haifa played well: Xavier Dirceu scored an impressive goal from a distance, Alain Masudi and Roberto Colautti left Eljendario Sanderinio one honor goal. In the Groups stage, Haifa faced strong opponents: The Scottish Rangers F.C., the Serbian Partizan Belgrade, the French Auxerre and the Italian Serie A team Livorno. In the 88th minute, the Scots succeeded in doubling the score from another penalty kick given away by a Haifa defender. This time Charlie Adam scored and sealed the victory. Haifa returned home and hosted Partizan Belgrade. An early goal by Anderson Xavier, the Brazilian midfielder, put Haifa in an excellent place with six points. Haifa needed one point in the away game in Italy against Livorno to complete the task successfully. At this stage Haifa was drawn against CSKA Moscow. The game was moved to the Spartak stadium in Vladikavkaz due to extreme weather in Moscow. 30,000 Russian fans crowded the stadium. Torpedo beat Haifa 1:0 and Lokomotiv beat it 3:0. Again Haifa did not score an away goal, but the result (0:0) signaled that Haifa might use its home advantage in the return match.

In the 2007/08 season, Maccabi Haifa finished 5th place in the League and was eliminated in the last-16 phase of the State Cup. Ronny Levy announced that he was leaving. Haifa won the Toto Cup after a 2-0 victory over Bnei-Sakhnin.

Haifa opened the 2008/09 season with hopes of remaining a top team. At the end of the season, coach Elisha Levy won his first personal title and Haifa made Israeli soccer history, winning six championships in one decade.

Maccabi Haifa returned to the Champions League for the 2009-2010 season. A 3:0 win over FC Red Bull Salzburg insured its second win in the span of seven years, with goals by Dvalishvili, Golasa and Ghadir. Haifa entered the 2009/10 Champions League group stage in Group A, competing against FC Bayern Munich, Juventus and Girondins de Bordeaux. Haifa finished the competition as one of the worst showing in Champions League history, with a record of 6 losses, conceding 8 goals and without scoring.

Sponsorship and fan base

The club is sponsored by Ya'akov Shahar, chairman of Mayer's Cars and Trucks Ltd., the official importer to Israel of Volvo and Honda. The fan base is mainly in Haifa and northern Israel, although the club is one of the most popular in Israel. Average attendance in the home matches is approximately 8,000 fans.


Haifa Municipal Stadium

Maccabi originally played in Kiryat Haim, which is the main training grounds of Hapoel. In 1955, a gift from the Italian Labour Union was a football pitch in the heart of the city of Haifa, which would become the new home of Maccabi. The opening match was a Haifa derby, won by Maccabi 4-1 over Hapoel.

Kiryat Eliezer missed out on staging a historic event when Maccabi reached the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. It was the first time an Israeli club had made it that far in the competition, though the lucrative gate receipts expected to have been made by hosting matches in Israel were lost when UEFA forced Maccabi to look for an alternative in Europe but outside of Israel because of security concern. The choice was to host the matches at Neo GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus.


New stadium

Due to the recent success of the club in European competitions, the municipality of Haifa offered the club land for a stadium at the southern entrance to the city. In the fall of 2008, the final plans were approved. Maccabi Haifa is scheduled to move into Sammy Ofer Stadium in the summer of 2012.


First-team squad

As of January 12, 2010

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Israel GK Nir Davidovitch (vice-captain)
4 Israel DF Shai Maimon
5 Portugal DF Jorge Teixeira
7 Brazil MF Gustavo Boccoli (holds Teudat Zehut)
8 Colombia MF John Culma
9 Georgia (country) FW Vladimir Dvalishvili
11 Ghana FW Sadat Bukari
13 Israel DF Taleb Twatiha
14 Brazil MF Tiago
15 Israel MF Eyal Golasa
16 Israel FW Mohammad Ghadir
No. Position Player
17 South Africa DF Peter Masilela
18 Israel DF Ali Ottman
19 Israel FW Shlomi Arbeitman
20 Israel FW Yaniv Katan (captain)
21 Israel DF Dekel Keinan
22 Israel GK Amir Edri
23 Israel MF Biram Kayal
24 Israel MF Yisrael Zaguri
26 Israel MF Lior Rafaelov
27 Israel DF Eyal Meshumar
44 Israel GK Haim Susskind

Squad changes for 2009/10



Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Israel FW Eitan Azaria (to Hapoel Acre F.C.)
4 Israel DF Ilayi Erlikh (to Hapoel Acre F.C.)
9 Ghana FW Ransford Osei (to FC Twente)
11 South Africa FW Thembinkosi Fanteni (to Orlando Pirates)
12 Israel DF Mor Dahan (to Maccabi Ahi Nazareth)
16 Israel FW Tomer Hemed (to Maccabi Ahi Nazareth)
18 Israel FW Oshri Gita (to Hapoel Acre F.C.)
No. Position Player
25 Nigeria MF Anderson West (to Maccabi Ahi Nazareth)
26 Israel MF Liad Elmaliach (to Hapoel Acre F.C.)
32 Israel MF Shlomi Hanuka (to Maccabi Ahi Nazareth)
36 Nigeria FW Yero Bello (to Hapoel Haifa F.C.)
44 Israel GK Gad Amos (to Hapoel Acre F.C.)
88 Israel MF Lohav Kiyal (to Maccabi Ahi Nazareth)

Foreigners 2009-10

Only up to five non-Israeli nationals can be in an Israeli club squad. Those with Jewish ancestry (e.g. Eial Strahman), married to an Israeli or have played in Israel for an extended period of time (e.g. Gustavo Boccoli), can claim a passport or permanent residency which would allow them to play with Israeli status.

Former players

For details on former players, see List of Maccabi Haifa F.C. players and Category:Maccabi Haifa F.C. players.




Academy Coaching Staff

  • Director of Youth Academy: Israel Yehoshua Frankel

Medical Staff

  • Club Doctor: Dr. Ami Berber
  • First Team Physio: Pinny Sharon
  • Masseurs: Alexandre Robichek

Kit & Equipment Staff

  • Kit Manager: Benny Idan

Managerial history

Performance in the top division

Maccabi Haifa have spent 48 seasons in the national top flight, finishing in these positions:

1st 11 9th 4
2nd 5 10th 1
3rd 5 11th 1
4th 3 12th 1
5th 8 13th 1
6th 2 14th 0
7th 3 15th 2
8th 1 16th 1

European record

As of November 28, 2009.

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Agg.
1993–94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Q Luxembourg F91 Dudelange 6–1 1–0 7–1
1R Russia FC Torpedo Moscow 3–1 0–1 3–2
2R Italy Parma 0–1 1–0(aet) 1–1(p)
1994–95 UEFA Champions League Q Austria SV Austria Salzburg 1–2 1–3 2–5
1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Q Faroe Islands KÍ Klaksvík 4–0 2–3 6–3
1R Portugal Sporting Clube de Portugal 0–0 0–4 0–4
1996–97 UEFA Cup 1QR Serbia FK Partizan 0–1 1–3 1–4
1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Q Northern Ireland Glentoran 2–1 1–0 3–1
1R France Paris Saint-Germain 3–2 1–1 4–3
2R Austria SV Ried 4–1 1–2 5–3
QF Russia FC Lokomotiv Moscow 0–1 0–3 0–4
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1Q Belarus FC Slavia-Mozyr 0–0 1–1 1–1(a)
1R Netherlands Vitesse 2–1 0–3 2–4
2001–02 UEFA Champions League 2Q Finland FC Haka 0–31 1–0 1–3
2002–03 UEFA Champions League 2Q Belarus FC Belshyna Babruisk 4–0 1–0 5–0
3Q Austria SK Sturm Graz 2–0 3–3 5–3
Group F England Manchester United 3–0 2–5
Group F Germany Bayer Leverkusen 0–2 1–2
Group F Greece Olympiacos 3–0 3–3
2002–03 UEFA Cup 3Q Greece AEK Athens FC 1–4 0–4 1–8
2003–04 UEFA Cup Q Wales Cwmbran Town A.F.C. 3–0 3–0 6–0
1R Slovenia NK CM Celje 2–1 2–2 4–3
2R Spain Valencia CF 0–4 0–0 0–4
2004–05 UEFA Champions League 3Q Norway Rosenborg BK 2–3 1–2 3–5
2004–05 UEFA Cup 1R Ukraine FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1–0 0–2 1–2
2005–06 UEFA Champions League 2Q Sweden Malmö FF 2–2 2–3 4–5
2006–07 UEFA Champions League 3Q England Liverpool 1–1 1–2 2–3
2006–07 UEFA Cup 1R Bulgaria PFC Litex Lovech 1–1 3–1 4–2
Group A France AJ Auxerre 3–1
Group A Scotland Rangers 0–2
Group A Serbia FK Partizan 1–0
Group A Italy A.S. Livorno Calcio 1–1
R32 Russia PFC CSKA Moscow 1–0 0–0 1–0
R16 Spain RCD Espanyol 0–0 0–4 0–4
2009–10 UEFA Champions League 2Q Northern Ireland Glentoran 6–0 4–0 10–0
3Q Kazakhstan FC Aktobe 4–3 0–0 4–3
Play–off Austria FC Salzburg 3–0 2–1 5–1
Group A Germany Bayern Munich 0–3 0–1
Group A France Bordeaux 0–1 0–1
Group A Italy Juventus 0–1 0–1

See also


External links

Simple English

Maccabi Haifa
Full nameMaccabi Haifa Football Club
מועדון הכדורגל מכבי חיפה
Nickname(s)The Greens
הירוקים (Hayerukim)
GroundKiryat Eliezer, Haifa
(Capacity 14,002)
Chairman Ya'akov Shahar
Manager Elisha Levy
LeagueIsraeli Premier League
2008-091st (Champions)
Home colours
Away colours

Maccabi Haifa Football Club (Hebrew: מועדון הכדורגל מכבי חיפה, Moadon HaKaduregel Maccabi Haifa) is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 11 championships, 5 State Cups and 3 Toto Cups. The club was founded in 1913, and it is one of the country's most successful teams in Europe, being the first Israeli club to qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.



First seventy years of obscurity

Maccabi Haifa Football Club was established in 1913 in the port city of Haifa. It was a small, struggling club that spent most of its time bouncing between the Liga Leumit and the lower leagues.

The club was overshadowed by their city rivals Hapoel Haifa, who were then the darling club of the city of Haifa and especially of then mayor Abba Hushi. But even in its first years the club adapted a very adventurous and offensive style of play based on technique and short passes. In 1942, the club reached the Israel State Cup final, but was humiliated 12-1 by Beitar Tel Aviv in the final, which is the club's worst defeat ever. In 1962, the club won its only honour until the 80s, when the team defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-2 in the State Cup final. In 1963 they reached the final again, but failed to defend their title losing to arch-rivals Hapoel Haifa 1-0.

Maccabi Haifa F. C. is a professional football (soccer) club in Israel. Founded in 1913, it is Israel's most successful club both domestically and in European competitions.

Club Titles

Leagues Won

  • Israel Premier League - 11 Times Won

Cups Won

  • Israel Cup - 5 Times Won
  • Toto Cup - 4 Times Won

Famous Players ever in Maccabi Haifa F.C.

Avi Ran, Adoram Keisi, Eyal Berkovic, Yaniv Katan, Yossi Benayoun, Reuven Atar and Alon Mizrahi

Best Club Records

Most Goals in season - 1993/1994

Most Games played without losing strike - 46 Games (From Seasons 1993-1995)

Most Away Undefeated Strike - 30

Most Points in a Year - 96 Points

Fan Club

The fan club of Maccabi Haifa F.C. have the nickname The Green Monkeys (הקופים הירוקים Hakofim Hayerukim). Additional the MCH (Maccabi Haifa) fans are known as the best of Israel.


As of September 1 2009.

No. Position Player
1 GK Nir Davidovitch (vice-captain2)
3 DF Alon Harazi (vice-captain)
4 DF Shai Maimon
5 DF Jorge Teixeira
7 MF Gustavo Boccoli (holds Teudat Zehut)
8 MF John Culma
9 FW Vladimir Dvalishvili
12 FW Eial Strahman (holds Teudat Zehut)
13 DF Taleb Twatiha
14 MF Tiago Dutra
15 MF Eyal Golasa
16 FW Mohammad Ghadir
No. Position Player
17 DF Peter Masilela
18 DF Ali Ottman
19 FW Shlomi Arbeitman
20 FW Yaniv Katan (captain)
21 DF Dekel Keinan
22 GK Amir Edri
23 MF Biram Kayal
24 MF Yisrael Zaguri
26 MF Lior Rafaelov
27 DF Eyal Meshumar
28 MF Sintayehu Sallallich
44 GK Haim Susskind



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