Hapoel Tel Aviv Football Club (Hebrew: מועדון כדורגל הפועל תל אביב, Moadon Kaduregel Hapoel Tel Aviv) is an Israeli football club based in Tel Aviv that competes in the Israeli Premier League. The club's traditional home ground is Bloomfield Stadium. To date, the club has won 13 championships and 16 State Cups. In 1967, Hapoel Tel Aviv became the first club to win the Asian Champion Club Tournament.

Hapoel Tel Aviv
Full nameHapoel Tel Aviv Football Club
The Reds
The Red Devils
Short nameHTA
Founded1923; 101 years ago (1923)
GroundBloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel
OwnerTel Aviv Football Partners
ManagerYossi Abukasis
LeagueIsraeli Premier League
2022–23Israeli Premier League, 10th of 14
WebsiteClub website

Since 1995, the club has competed in European club competitions, and has the highest rank among all Israeli clubs, with some outstanding achievements, such as wins against Chelsea, Milan, Hamburg, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Rangers, and Celtic. It is also one of only three Israeli teams to have qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and one of the two that are ordinary members of the European Club Association.

The club name, "Hapoel", translates to "The Worker", and combined with its red Hammer and sickle badge represents the club ties to Marxism, socialism, Labor Zionism, and the working class. For seven decades, the club was owned by the Histadrut, Israel's national trade union centre.

History edit

British Mandate edit

Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. was originally established in 1923, but was disbanded soon after. The club was re-formed in 1925, and then for a third time in May 1926.[1] In 1927 the club merged with Allenby F.C., giving the club its modern form. It is part of the Hapoel sports association which was affiliated with the Histadrut, and supporters of the club were often referred to as communists.[2]

In 1928 the club reached the Palestine Cup final (the first one to be recognised by the Israel Football Association). Although they beat Maccabi Hasmonean Jerusalem 2–0, Hapoel fielded an ineligible player, resulting in the cup being shared.[3]

The 1933–34 saw the club win the double,[4] finishing as champions of the Palestine League, winning every match, the only Palestinian club to have achieved such a feat,[1] and winners of the cup, beating local rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv 3–2 in the final. The 1934–35 season saw Hapoel led the league table, but the championship was abandoned and they were not declared champions.[4] The 1937–38 season ended the same way, with Hapoel top of the league, but the season abandoned. In the meantime, the club won the cup again in 1937, 1938, and 1939, and remain the only club to have won the trophy in three successive seasons (although the Royal Air Force won it four years in a row between 1924 and 1927, pre-1928 wins are not recognised by the IFA).

In 1939–40, they won their second championship. The following season no national championships were held, but the club won the tournament for Hapoel-affiliated clubs. They won a third championship in the 1943–44 season, and in the following year won the northern region league,[4] as well as what became known as the "War Cup", which was boycotted by Beitar-affiliated clubs. In the cup final Hapoel were leading Hapoel Petah Tikva 1–0, but the match was abandoned on 89 minutes when a Petah Tikva player refused to leave the pitch after being sent off for insulting the referee.[3]

State of Israel edit

Pyrotechnics at the Tel Aviv derby, 2005–06

Following Israeli independence, Hapoel joined the new Israeli League. They won the title in 1956–57 and the State Cup in 1961, beating Hapoel Petah Tikva 2–1.

In the 1965–66 season Hapoel won the title, and qualified for the first Asian Club Championships. In the tournament Hapoel were given byes all the way to the final, where they beat Selangor 2–1 to become Asia's first club champions. The club also reached the State Cup final that year, but lost 2–1 to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Hapoel won the title again in 1968–69, and again qualified for the Asian Club championships. Although they reached the final, they lost 2–1 to Iranian side Taj Tehran[5] (in an era when Iran and Israel had diplomatic relations). They won the State Cup again in 1972, beating Hapoel Jerusalem 1–0 in the final, but did not win the title again until 1980–81, when they missed out on the double after losing the cup final 4–3 on penalties (after a 2–2 draw) to Bnei Yehuda. The following season they reached the cup final again, but lost 1–0 to Hapoel Yehud. A hat-trick of cup final defeats was avoided when they beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 3–2 in the 1982 final.

Another title was won in 1985–86, and another in 1987–88. However, the following season Hapoel finished bottom of the league (with a four-point deduction for breaking budget rules) and were relegated to the second tier for the first time in their history.

The club made an immediate return to the top division as Liga Artzit runners-up, though they only beat Maccabi Yavne to the second promotion slot on goal difference.[6] In 1997–98 Hapoel finished second, and qualified for Europe for the second time. In the 1998–99 UEFA Cup Hapoel knocked out FinnPa, before losing on penalties to Strømsgodset. In the same season they won the State Cup, beating Beitar Jerusalem 3–1 on penalties after a 1–1 draw.

21st century edit

Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at Bloomfield Stadium before the Tel Aviv derby, 2014

The 1999–2000 season saw Hapoel win the double, claiming their first title in over a decade and winning the State Cup (beating Beitar Jerusalem on penalties again). However, they failed to reach the group stages of the Champions League after being beaten 5–1 on aggregate by Sturm Graz. They finished second in the league in 2000–01 and 2001–02 and third in 2002–03, qualifying for the UEFA Cup on each occasion. In the 2001–02 UEFA Cup Hapoel reached the quarter-finals after knocking out Chelsea, Lokomotiv Moscow and Parma. Although they beat A.C. Milan 1–0 in the home leg (a match which had to be played in the GSP Stadium in Cyprus as UEFA did not allow matches to be held in Israel due to security reasons), Hapoel lost the away leg 2–0.

In 2002 the club won its first Toto Cup. They won the State Cup in 2006, beating Bnei Yehuda 1–0 in the final, and also won it the following season, when they defeated second division Hapoel Ashkelon on penalties. They reached the final again in 2007–08, but lost 5–4 on penalties to Beitar Jerusalem after a 0–0 draw.

In 2009–10, the club won the double, claiming the State Cup after a 3–1 victory over Bnei Yehuda. The title was won after a dramatic game against Beitar Jerusalem on the final day of the season, with Eran Zahavi scoring the title-winning goal two minutes into injury time. The club also had a successful season in the Europa League, winning their group, before losing to Rubin Kazan in the second round. The following season they reached the group stages of the Champions League for the first time, but failed to advance to the next round. at the same season the team reached to the second place and won the Israeli State Cup for the second time in row.

In the beginning of season 2011–12 most of the successful players of the team left and spread at Europe, also the Team's manager Eli Guttman left too. The club's legendary coach, Dror Kashtan, returned and new players came as part of the transfer of ownership of the club to Eli Tabib. During the season there was tension between the manager Dror Kashtan and Eli Tabib, which led to the manager's departure and current Manager was appointed in his place, Nitzan Shirazi, who led the team winning the Israeli State Cup for the third time in a row. After large-scale protests of the fans against the club's owner Tabib and his unprofessional conduct, he decided to leave the club after one year and sold it to Haim Ramon and to the supporters' trust called "Haadumim", "The Reds" in Hebrew, that establish at the summer of 2012 and raise 2 million shekel for 20% of the ownership. The other part of the club sold to several other businessmen. Altogether the club sold at summer 2012 for 12 million NIS (about $ 3 Million). At the beginning of season 2012–13, Yossi Abuksis was appointed coach in place of Nitzan Shirazi, who appointed professional manager due to his health reasons. On 1 July 2015, the club was bought by Amir Gross Kabiri. Due to financial problems Kabiri and the club split. 2023 the Mintzberg group is announced as new owner.[7][8]

Stadium edit

Bloomfield Stadium edit

After playing at three different stadiums, the club moved to the Basa Stadium in 1950, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1962 the ground was renovated using donation from the Bloomfield family, thus receiving its official name. The ground was owned by Tel Aviv histadrut branch, who were also owners of Hapoel, although today it is a municipal stadium.

The stadium, located in Jaffa, is an upgraded version of the older stadium called "Basa". The first match at Bloomfield was played on 12 December 1962 against FC Twente, the game ending in a 1–1 draw. The stadium is currently shared with city rivals Maccabi (who moved to the ground in 1963) and Bnei Yehuda (since 2004).

Hapoel main fans' gate is gate 5, where Ultras Hapoel lead the cheering, and away crowds sit oppositely, on Gate 11. Another traditional Hapoel fans' gate is gate 7.

Supporters and politics edit

Ultras Hapoel Graffiti near Rabin Square, Tel Aviv

The club is the standard-bearer of the Israeli left and far-left. It was the last club to cut formal links with politics, in this case the trade union movement and the moderate Social Democratic Labor Party Mapai, as well more radical parties such as the Marxist Party Mapam, its predecessor Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party, and the Marxist-Leninist Israeli Communist Party (Maki).[9][10][11][12]

Ultras Hapoel often wave flags emblazoned with the faces of Che Guevara and Karl Marx, as well as banners with the slogan "Workers of the world, unite!".[13] The club ultras has friendships with many other antifa supporter groups, including strong bonds with fans of FC St. Pauli, Standard Liège, Omonia Nicosia, and Celtic F.C.[9][10][11][12]

A Haaretz poll published in June 2011 identified Hapoel Tel Aviv as the second most popular football team among Israeli Arabs, behind Maccabi Haifa.[14]

Another survey had been conducted in March 2012 by Yedioth showed that Hapoel is the fourth most popular team among Israeli football fans (nineteen percent). The same survey revealed that thirty-two percent of Tel Aviv residents support the team.[15]

Hapoel's most famous supporter was Arik Einstein who referenced the club in several of his songs, and following the club's double win in 2000, sang their championship song "My Red Team".

Rivalries edit

Rivalry with Maccabi Tel Aviv edit

Hapoel's main rivals are Maccabi Tel Aviv, whose game against them is the Tel Aviv derby.

Rivalry with Beitar Jerusalem edit

Another rivalry with Beitar Jerusalem which is a political rivalry, which is considered (and considers itself) the team of the Israeli far-right.[9][10][11][12]

Players edit

Current squad edit

As of 8 February 2024

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   LTU Emilijus Zubas
3 DF   ISR Ziv Morgan
4 DF   CGO Bryan Passi
5 DF   ISR Or Blorian (on loan from Hapoel Be'er Sheva)
6 MF   ISR El Yam Kancepolsky
7 MF   ISR Omri Altman
8 MF   ISR Elian Rohana
9 FW   SVN Alen Ožbolt
11 MF   ISR Dan Einbinder (captain)
13 FW   CGO Mavis Tchibota
17 FW   GAM Bubacarr Tambedou
18 DF   ISR Tal Archel
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF   COL David Cuperman
21 FW   ISR Omer Senior
22 GK   ISR Roy Baranes
24 MF   ISR Stav Turiel
27 FW   ISR Liad Ramot
29 MF   ISR Ran Binyamin
30 MF   ISR Hisham Layous
45 FW   ISR Sagi Genis
66 MF   ISR Ihab Ghanayem
72 DF   ISR Or Israelov
92 DF   ISR Raz Meir

Players out on loan edit

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ISR David Alon (at Maccabi Sha'arayim until 30 June 2024)
GK   ISR Lior Gliklich (at Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2024)
GK   ISR Ido Sharon (at Hapoel Nir Ramat HaSharon until 30 June 2024)
DF   ISR Amir Ella (at Sektzia Ness Ziona until 30 June 2024)
DF   ISR Ilay Krispi (at Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2024)
DF   ISR Tom Ahi Mordechai (at Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2024)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   ISR Sabastian Hernandez (at Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2024)
MF   ISR Roee Alkokin (at Maccabi Herzliya until 30 June 2024)
MF   ISR Ari Cohen (at Hapoel Kfar Saba until 30 June 2024)
MF   FRA Noam Bonnet (at Hapoel Acre until 30 June 2024)
FW   ISR Ido Elmshily (at F.C. Kafr Qasim until 30 June 2024)

Foreigners 2023–24 edit

Only up to six non-Israeli nationals can be in an Israeli club, but only five can play at the same time on the pitch. Those with Jewish ancestry, married to an Israeli, or have played in Israel for an extended period of time, can claim a passport or permanent residency which would allow them to play with Israeli status.

Honours edit

Domestic edit

League edit

Honour No. Years
Championships 13 1933–34, 1934–35, 1938–39, 1940, 1943–44, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1980–81, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1999–2000, 2009–10

Cups edit

Honour No. Years
State Cup 16 1928, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1944, 1960–61, 1971–72, 1982–83, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
Toto Cup (top division) 1 2001–02
Super Cup 5 1957, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1981

International edit

Honour No. Years
Asian Champion Club Tournament 1 1967

Other edit

Honour No. Years
Shapira Cup 1 1954–55[16]

Youth Division edit

Honour No. Years
Israeli Noar Premier League 5 1944–45, 1965–66, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1989–90
Israel Youth State Cup 8 1959–60, 1967–68, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1991–92, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2018–19

Record in Europe edit

UEFA Europa League match against Rapid Wien at Bloomfield Stadium, 2009
UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Red Bull Salzburg, 2010

European competitions edit

UEFA club rankings edit

As of 14 August 2016[17]
Rank Team Coefficient
168   Omonia Nicosia 7.560
  AEL Limassol 7.560
170   Maccabi Haifa 7.550
  Hapoel Tel Aviv 7.550
172   Slovan Bratislava 7.525
173   Shakhtyor Soligorsk 7.450
174   Vojvodina 7.400

Coaches edit

Notable former players edit

Captains edit

Years Captain
1951   Shimon Zimerman (MF)
1967   Haim Nurieli (MF)
1971   Shimon Ben Yehonathan (DF)
1972–1979   Yehoshua Feigenbaum (FW)
1983–1987   Moshe Sinai (MF)
1990   Yaakov Ekhoiz (DF)
1993–1994   Haim Revivo (MF)
1994–1995   Ya'akov Schwartz (MF)
1995–1997   Guy Sharabi (DF)
1997–1999   Felix Halfon (DF)
1999–2006   Shimon Gershon (DF)
2006–2007   Yossi Abuksis (MF)
2007–2013   Walid Badir (DF)
2013–2015   Shay Abutbul (MF)
2015–2016   Mihai Pintilii (MF)
2016   Ariel Harush (GK)
2016   Nemanja Nikolić (MF)
2016–2018   Avihai Yadin (MF)
2018–2020   Orel Dgani (DF)
2020–2021   Omri Altman (MF)
2021-   Dan Einbinder (MF)

Most appearances edit

Rank Name Period Games Goals
1   Ya'akov Ekhoiz 1974–92 454 12
2   Aryeh Bajareno 1968–85 430 0
3   Yehoshua Feigenbaum 1964–79 368 142
4   Yigal Antebi 1999-09
351 9
5   Shavit Elimelech 1996–07 344 0
6   Yaakov Rahaminovich 1966–80 332 30
7   Yehezkel Chazom 1964–77 324 97

Most League Goals edit

Rank Name Period Games Goals
1   Yehoshua Feigenbaum 1964–79 368 142
2   Yehezkel Chazom 1964–77 324 97
3   Moshe Sinai 1980-89
290 87
4   Rehavia Rozenbaum 1951–65 78
5   Omer Damari 2011-14
115 59
6   Shabtay Levi 1977–88 247 58
7   Gidon Tish 1955-66

References edit

  1. ^ a b [1] Archived 3 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.
  2. ^ Hapoel Tel-Aviv Football Club (Israel) Archived 1 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine Flags of the World
  3. ^ a b Israel – List of Cup Finals Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine RSSSF
  4. ^ a b c Israel – List of Champions Archived 14 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine RSSSF
  5. ^ Mulcahy, Enda. "Asian Club Competitions 1970". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 27 September 2022. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  6. ^ Israel 1989/90 Archived 24 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine RSSSF
  7. ^ Nishlis, Idan (9 March 2023). "Hapoel Tel Aviv football club has been bought The Mintzberg Group of the U.S." Israel Desks. Archived from the original on 25 May 2023. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  8. ^ ToI Staff. "Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer club heading for bankruptcy". www.timesofisrael.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2023. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  9. ^ a b c "Sporting Rivalries: Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Tel Aviv". 8 November 2018. Archived from the original on 23 January 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "The Politics of Israeli Soccer: A Guide for the Perplexed". Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  11. ^ a b c "The not-so-beautiful game of football in Israel". Financial Times. 2 January 2010. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Hapoel Tel Aviv on the up after political swing". 15 September 2009. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  13. ^ The not-so-beautiful Game of Football in Israel Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Financial Times, 2 January 2010
  14. ^ "Soccer-mad, pro-'Hatikva'". Haaretz. 30 June 2011. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  15. ^ Kuper, Uri. "The real national team?" (in Hebrew). one.co.il. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012.
  16. ^ Shapira Cup to Hapoel Tel Aviv Archived 18 November 2022 at the Wayback Machine Davar, 16 January 1955, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  17. ^ "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Club coefficients". UEFA. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.

External links edit

Preceded by
Inaugural Champions
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by