Eran Zahavi

Eran Zahavi, one of the most talented midfielders Israel has produced in recent years, began his career at Maccabi during the January 2013 transfer window after he returned to Israel from a year and a half at the Italian club Palermo. The 26 year-old Zahavi had played for two different clubs in Israel, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Hapoel Ramat Hasharon, before his move to Italy in the summer of 2011. His maiden goal for the club came in the fourth matchweek of Serie A play against Cagliari Calcio, a match Palermo won 3-2. In his first season at Palermo, Zahavi made 20 league and two European appearances, scoring two goals and making three assists.

He missed the beginning of the 2012/13 season through an injury he recovered from before arriving at Maccabi Tel Aviv on a three and a half year deal. And it took him only one match to leave his mark on the club when he scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory over Maccabi Netanya in the eighth round of the prestigious State Cup competition. His goals were a significant contribution to the 2012/13 Championship season, scoring seven of them in the last two months of the season. His best performance came in a match against Bnei Yehuda when his brace brought Maccabi on level terms after they were trailing 2-0. Zahavi also scored twice against his old club Hapoel Tel Aviv and against Ironi Kiryat Shmona, but in separate matches.

Zahavi's contribution to the title drive was considerable and at season's end Zahavi celebrated not only Maccabi's first championship in a decade but also the second title of his career. His excellent form in the second half of Maccabi's season also brought about his return to head coach Eli Gutman's Israeli national side. His first appearance in close to a year came in March of 2013 in Israel's 0-2 victory over Northern Ireland in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. In all Zahavi has been capped thirteen times for Israel, the first of which against Malta in the European Cup qualifiers in 2012.

 Picture Gallery