Founded in 1906 as the HaRishon Le Zion-Yafo Association, Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest, largest and most decorated football club in Israel. With the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv in 1909, the club changed their name to Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 1922 they became the first Jewish football club to participate in local competitions. The meaning of the name Maccabi – ‘Who is like thee among the gods’ – forms an integral part of the character of the team, which took the Star of David as their logo to represent the Jewish people.
The club’s name and its’ values are steeped in Israeli history. The club is named after the Maccabis, an ancient Jewish rebel army, which became a symbol of the struggle of the Jewish people for over 2,000 years to retain their freedom, religion and sovereignty. The Maccabi spirit is based on values of excellence, loyalty and the desire to succeed.
One of the phrases that accurately reflect the Maccabi identity was coined by the late former legendary player, Avi Cohen, according to which: “To be Maccabi Tel Aviv is to be the biggest, the prettiest and the most successful”.
Maccabi Tel Aviv have won more titles than any other Israeli club, winning 24 League Championships (18 after Israeli Independence), 24 prestigious State Cups (18 after Israeli independence), two Asian Club Cups and an additional seven Toto (League) Cups.
The endless hunger for success led the club to impressive achievements in the European competition where it became a regular member over the years. Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of three Israeli clubs to have qualified and played at UEFA’s Champions league Group stages twice (2004/05 and 2015/16). Maccabi also left a significant mark in European competitions having qualified to the Europa League five times and even reached the knockout phase of the competition, advancing to the Round of 32 twice.
Maccabi also set a historic world record by scoring the first ever goal in the Conference League group stage in its’ inaugural season (2021/22). Overall, Maccabi’s successful appearances on the international circuit places the club as the Israeli club that has played the most European group-stage matches.
Maccabi Tel Aviv FC invest a great deal in the development and nurturing of young talent. The club’s youth system operate football academies at three sites in the Tel Aviv area, working with over 750 children aged 5-17. The club also run 19 youth teams with 400 players between 8 and 19 years old. These teams compete very successfully in local and national leagues. In their responsibility to spot, nurture and develop young talent, the youth division strive to promote a strong connection between football, health and education, and with the help of coaches, teachers, children and the local community to foster an approach to football that embraces every aspect of the sport and the children who play it.