Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.

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 thirteen championships and sixteen State Cups. In 1967 Hapoel Tel Aviv became the first club to win the Asian Club Championships.

Hapoel Tel Aviv
Hapoel Tel Aviv football.Logo.svg
Nickname(s)The Red Demons
The Worker
Short nameHTA
Founded1927; 94 years ago (1927)
GroundBloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv
OwnerNisanov Group
ChairmanRobi Regev
Head coachNir Klinger
LeagueIsraeli Premier League
2019–20Israeli Premier League, 5th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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 3 Israeli teams to have qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and one of the two which 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 center.



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 Israeli 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]


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 Club (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.[5] 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 CenturyEdit

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.


Hapoel Tel Aviv fans at Bloomfield Stadium, 2019

After playing at three different stadiums, the club moved to the old Bloomfield Stadium in 1949, 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 the new 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 politicsEdit

Ultras Hapoel Graffiti near Rabin Square, Tel Aviv

The team 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, and its predecessor Hashomer Hatzair Workers Party and the Marxist-Leninist Israeli Communist Party (Maki).[6][7][8][9]

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!".[10] 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..[6][7][8][9]

Hapoel's two rivals are Maccabi Tel Aviv, whose game against them is the Tel Aviv derby and Beitar Jerusalem, which is considered (and considers itself) the team of the Israeli far-right.[6][7][8][9]

A Haaretz poll published in June 2011 identified Hapoel Tel Aviv as the second most popular football team among Israeli Arabs, behind Maccabi Haifa.[11]

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.[12]


Current squadEdit

As of 11 February 2021

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   LTU Ernestas Šetkus
2 DF   ISR Ben Bitton
5 DF   ISR Eyad Abu Abaid
6 DF   ISR Adi Gotlieb
7 MF   ISR Omri Altman (captain)
8 FW   ISR Osher Davida
9 MF   ISR Shay Elias
10 FW   ISR Gil Itzhak
11 MF   ISR Dan Einbinder
12 FW   ISR Omer Senior
13 GK   ISR Igal Becker
14 DF   ISR Denny Gruper
15 DF   ISR Niv Sardal
16 DF   ISR Doron Leidner
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 FW   ISR Raz Stain
18 FW   ISR Shlomi Azulay
19 MF   ISR Lidor Cohen
20 MF   ISR Dan Azaria
21 FW   ISR Roei Zikri
22 GK   ISR Ido Sharon
23 DF   ISR Raz Shlomo
26 MF   GHA Emmanuel Boateng
29 MF   ISR Shay Ayzen
30 DF   ISR Ofek Balas
33 GK   ISR Roy Baranes
55 DF   RSA Siyanda Xulu
66 DF   ISR Stav Lemkin
99 MF   ISR Ofek Bitton

Players out on loanEdit

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ISR Dudi Alon (at   Shimshon Kafr Qasim until 30 June 2021)
DF   ISR Itzik Shoolmayster (at   Hapoel Petah Tikva until 30 June 2021)
DF   ISR Tom Ahi Mordechai (at   Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2021)
DF   ISR Mor Naaman (at   Hapoel Ramat Gan until 30 June 2021)
MF   ISR Ilay Tamam (at   Hapoel Rishon LeZion until 30 June 2021)
MF   ISR Itamar Efrat (at   Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2021)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   ISR Shavit Mazal (at   Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2021)
MF   ISR Ali El Ubra (at   Sektzia Nes Tziona until 30 June 2021)
FW   ISR Benny Tridovsky (at   Sektzia Nes Tziona until 30 June 2021)
FW   NGA Michael Olaha (at   Hapoel Kfar Shalem until 30 June 2021)
FW   ISR Ali Kna'ana (at   Maccabi Ahi Nazareth until 30 June 2021)
FW   ISR Ofek Ovadia (at   Sektzia Nes Tziona until 30 June 2021)

Foreigners 2020–21Edit

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.

Coaching staffEdit

Position Staff
Director of Football   Moshe Sinai
Head coach   Nir Klinger
Assistant coach   Salim Tuama
Fitness coach   Ofer Doron
Goalkeeping coach   Ami Genish
Club doctor   Dr. George Canada

  Dr. Ran Tyne

Physio   Michael Gershenzon

  Gil Puterman

Head of youth department   Omer Buchsenbaum
U19 head coach   Ori Uzan
Equipment manager   Eli Bueno




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


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


Honour No. Years
Asian Club Championship 1 1967


Honour No. Years
Shapira Cup 1 1954–55[13]

Youth DivisionEdit

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 EuropeEdit

UEFA Champions League qualifying match against Red Bull Salzburg, 2010

European competitionsEdit

UEFA club rankingsEdit

As of 14 August 2016[14]
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


Notable former playersEdit

Category:Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. players


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)

Most appearancesEdit

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 GoalsEdit

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


  1. ^ a b [1] Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C.
  2. ^ Hapoel Tel-Aviv Football Club (Israel) Flags of the World
  3. ^ a b Israel – List of Cup Finals RSSSF
  4. ^ a b c Israel – List of Champions RSSSF
  5. ^ Israel 1989/90 RSSSF
  6. ^ a b c https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/sporting-rivalries-beitar-jerusalem-and-hapoel-tel-aviv/
  7. ^ a b c https://www.progressiveisrael.org/the-politics-of-israeli-soccer-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/
  8. ^ a b c https://www.ft.com/content/d6849396-ef64-11de-86c4-00144feab49a
  9. ^ a b c https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12612358.hapoel-tel-aviv-on-the-up-after-political-swing/
  10. ^ The not-so-beautiful Game of Football in Israel Financial Times, 2 January 2010
  11. ^ "Soccer-mad, pro-'Hatikva'". 30 June 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2017 – via Haaretz.
  12. ^ Kuper, Uri. "The real national team?" (in Hebrew). one.co.il. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012.
  13. ^ Shapira Cup to Hapoel Tel Aviv Davar, 16 January 1955, Historical Jewish Press (in Hebrew)
  14. ^ "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Club coefficients". EUFA. Retrieved 2 July 2017.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Inaugural Champions
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv