Goalkeeper Daniel Tannenbaum arrived at Kiryat Shalom in summer 2017. He came directly from Rio de Janiero’s Flamengo for trials with Maccabi, and the scrutiny of Jordi Cruyff. A week’s trial for the Brazilian have now become three years during which he has become used to wearing the Maccabi strip, has absorbed in Israeli daily life now speaking fluent Hebrew, and he has enlisted in the army. 

As we prepare for the year 5780 according to the Jewish calendar, Tannenbaum spoke to Maccabi’s web site about life in Israel, the difficulty of living far from his family, the army, and the club.

“I came to Israel because of football. It was a good opportunity to be able to play in Israel and to live in a different country. Israel is very different and the move has been significant for me. When I was younger, I came here to compete at the Maccabiah Games and also for my Bar Mitzva, so I have had connections with Israel all my life.

“It was a surprise for me to discover that I would have to serve in the army and I must admit that I was a bit scared. My family and I have had no knowledge of the military and I wasn’t certain whether I would enlist, but I chose to do so. This is a chance to give back something to the country and this has allowed me to feel more a part of the country. I was not born here, but I feel like a native Israeli.”

When I was eight years old, my grandfather returned from a visit to Israel with a Maccabi shirt as a gift for me so Maccabi are like family. This is my home. My grandfather passed away last year. It was at the end of the campaign and the off-season was a very tough time for me. He taught me much about life.

In summary, I just want to say that Maccabi isn’t just a football team. It is a club with so many people working behind the scenes who give so much for the success of the organization. I really want to wish us all Shana Tova, with many victories and no conceded goals.