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|Nickname(s)||הכחולים-לבנים (The Blues and Whites)|
|Association||Israel Football Association (IFA)|
|Confederation||UEFA (Europe) (1991–present)
OFC (Oceania) (1974–91)
AFC (Asia) (1954–74)
|Head coach||Eli Guttman|
|Most caps||Arik Benado (94)|
|Top scorer||Mordechai Spiegler (33)|
|Home stadium||Ramat Gan Stadium|
|Highest FIFA ranking||15 (November 2008)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||82 (July 2012, August 2012, October 2012)|
|Highest Elo ranking||15 (1976)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||80 (February 1968)|
Egypt 7–1 Eretz Israel
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
USA Olympic Team 3–1 Israel
(New York, United States; 26 September 1948)
| Israel 9–0 Chinese Taipei
(Wellington, New Zealand; 23 March 1988)
| Egypt 7–1 Eretz Israel
(Cairo, Egypt; 16 March 1934)
Germany 7–1 Israel
(Kaiserslautern, Germany; 12 February 2002)
|Appearances||1 (First in 1970)|
|Best result||Round 1, 1970|
|AFC Asian Cup|
|Appearances||4 (First in 1956)|
|Best result||Winners, 1964|
The Israel national football team (Hebrew: נבחרת ישראל בכדורגל, Nivḥeret Yisra'el BeKaduregel ; Arabic: منتخب إسرائيل لكرة القدم) is the national football team of Israel, governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).
Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Israel National Team, during the British Mandate. Israel has competed in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in three different confederations, competing in the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation before settling in Europe as a member of the Union of European Football Associations in 1994.
Football has a long and rich tradition in Israel. The game was originally introduced during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Palestine FA was formed in 1928, and joined FIFA in the same year, but at the time the association was made up of Arab clubs, Jewish clubs. and clubs representing British policemen and soldiers serving in the region during the British Mandate rule that spanned the period between World War One and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The Palestine national team made its debut against Egypt in 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, losing 1–7 in Cairo. The team played five international matches, including a friendly match against Lebanon, until the British Mandate for Palestine was dissolved.
Upon the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948, the IFA became the official association of the new state. The Israel national team's first match as an independent nation was on 26 September 1948, against the USA Olympic Team. The game was won by the USA 1–3, and in the 20th minute of the game Shmuel Ben-Dror scored the first goal after the creation of the State of Israel.
Asian Football Confederation membership
Israel competed in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) between 1954 and 1974. Due to the Arab–Israeli conflict, several Muslim states refused to compete against Israel. The political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales to ensure the team did not qualify without playing at least one game (which Wales won).
In 1976, Israel went to its second Olympic Games and lost in the quarterfinals again, this time against Brazil. In 1972 and 1977, it attempted World Cup qualification as part of Asia, which both times ended in failure.
Years in exile
In 1974, Israel was expelled from the AFC. During the 1980s, it played the majority of its matches against European teams, and competed in the European stage of qualification for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. For the next two tournaments, it entered Oceana's qualification stage. In 1989, Israel made it to the CONMEBOL-OFC playoffs for the 1990 World Cup to play against Colombia, which qualified from the South American group, but lost (1–0, 0–0).
European Football Confederation membership
In 1991, Israeli clubs began participating in European club competitions, and Israel returned to the European leg of World Cup qualifying in 1992. In 1994, Israel received full UEFA membership, 20 years after it had left Asia. Within Europe, Israel has been a relatively minor nation, though with some successes, notably winning 3–2 in Paris against France in 1993, and 5–0 against Austria in 1999. That year, Israel made it to the playoffs of UEFA Euro 2000, but was beaten by Denmark.
Israel came close to advancing to the playoff stage in their 2006 World Cup qualifying group, finishing third, behind France, and tied on points with Switzerland, which also remained unbeaten in 10 matches after 4 wins and 6 draws. The Swiss had a better goal difference, though, and advanced to the qualification play-off. Coach Avram Grant announced his resignation on 26 October 2005. After the end of his contract, he was succeeded by Dror Kashtan.
In UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying, Israel finished fourth in Group E, behind Croatia, Russia, and England, respectively. The 4–3 home loss to Croatia was the first loss after 13 consecutive official games and 9 home games without a loss.
In 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Israel again came in fourth, behind Switzerland, Greece, and Latvia. For the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, Kashtan was replaced as coach by Frenchman Luis Fernández, but to no avail, as Israel finished a distant third behind Greece and Croatia.
The continued presence of the Israeli Football Association in UEFA was a precedent cited by Australia to justify its transfer from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation.
The Israel national football team's home stadium is the national stadium in Ramat Gan. The stadium seats 41,583 and is the only stadium in Israel which is in a world-class standard. The stadium is mixed-use, fit for athletic competitions alongside its more popular usage as a football stadium when it hosts Israel international football matches and the UEFA Champions League games of Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa in the 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons, respectively.
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did Not Enter||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1934||Did Not Qualify
(as Eretz Israel Team)
|1950||Did Not Qualify||2||0||0||2||2||11|
|1974||Did Not Qualify||6||4||1||1||12||2|
|2014||To Be Determined|
|1952||Did Not Qualify|
|1972||Did Not Qualify|
|1984||Did Not Qualify|
Since the 1992 Summer Olympics, the football competition is played as an Under-23 competition
AFC Asian Cup
|AFC Asian Cup record|
Israel did not compete in a regional competition between the years 1968 and 1994, although in 1972 they were scheduled to compete in the AFC Asian Cup
UEFA European Championship record
|UEFA European Championship record|
|1996||Did Not Qualify|
|2016||To Be Determined|
2014 FIFA World Cup
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Group F
|7 September 2012
|Azerbaijan||1–1||Israel||Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium, Baku
Referee: Matej Jug (Slovenia)
|Abışov 65'||Report||Natkho 50'|
|11 September 2012
|Israel||0–4||Russia||Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)
|Report||Kerzhakov 7', 64'
|12 October 2012
|Luxembourg||0–6||Israel||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg
Referee: Leontios Trattou (Cyprus)
Ben Basat 12'
Hemed 27', 74', 90+1'
|16 October 2012
|Israel||3–0||Luxembourg||Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan
Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)
|Hemed 13', 48'
Ben Basat 35'
|22 March 2013
|Israel||3–3||Portugal||Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan
Referee: Stéphane Lannoy (France)
Ben Basat 40'
|26 March 2013
|Northern Ireland||0–2||Israel||Windsor Park, Belfast
Referee: Hannes Kaasik (Estonia)
Ben Basat 84'
|7 September 2013
|10 September 2013
|11 October 2013
|15 October 2013
|Friendly 29 February 2012||Israel||2–3||Ukraine||Petah Tikva, Israel|
|Hemed 56' (pen.)
|Report||Gusev 17' (pen.)
|Stadium: HaMoshava Stadium
Referee: Lubrication Mrtziniak, Poland
|Friendly 26 May 2012||Czech Republic||2–1||Israel||Hartberg, Austria|
|Baros 17' (pen.)
|Report||Shechter 45'||Stadium: Stadion Hartberg
Referee: Richard Trutz, Slovakia
|Friendly 31 May 2012||Germany||2–0||Israel||Leipzig, Germany|
|Report||Stadium: Red Bull Arena
Referee: Kevin Blom, Netherlands
|Friendly 15 August 2012||Hungary||1–1||Israel||Budapest, Hungary|
|Dzsudzsak 51'||Report||Hemed 80'||Stadium: Ferenc Puskás Stadium
Referee: Ivan Kruzliak, Slovakia
|Friendly 14 November 2012||Israel||1–2||Belarus||Jerusalem, Israel|
|Damari 20'||Report||Kislyak 45'
|Stadium: Teddy Stadium
Referee: Simon Lee Evans, Wales
|Friendly 6 February 2013||Israel||2–1||Finland||Netanya, Israel|
|Ben Basat 2'
|Report||Forsell 87'||Stadium: Netanya Stadium
Referee: Padraigh Sutton, Ireland
|Friendly 2 June 2013||Honduras||v||Israel||New York, United States|
|Report||Stadium: Red Bull Arena
|Friendly 14 August 2013||Ukraine||v||Israel||Kyiv, Ukraine|
|Stadium: Dynamo Stadium
- As of 14 November 2012
|Assistant Manager||Yossi Abukasis||Israel|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Giora Antman||Israel|
|Technical Manager||Israel Shchuchinski||Israel|
|Mental Advisor||Alon Olman||Israel|
|Head Doctor||Mark Rosnovsky||Israel|
|Head of Logistics||Yossi Hezi||Israel|
|Head of Logistics||Gideon Mashiach||Israel|
Caps and goals updated as of 26 March 2013 after a match against Northern Ireland.
The following players have also been called up to the Israeli squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament.
Most capped players
As of March 26, 2013, the ten players with the most caps for Israel are:
As of March 26, 2013, the ten players with the most goals for Israel are:
|Manager||Years as manager||Pld
|Jerry Beit haLevi||1953–54||5||0||0||5||1||7||0.00|
|Jerry Beit haLevi||1957||1||0||0||1||4||5||0.00|
| Itzhak Schneor
|Richard Møller Nielsen||2000–02||20||7||4||9||29||33||35.00|
|Eli Ohana (caretaker)||2010||1||1||0||0||2||0||100.00|
- Group stage (1): 1970
- "Azerbaijan begins with away match against Israel – MATCH SCHEDULE". 25 November 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "National team staff". Israel Football Association. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Win% is rounded to two decimal places