Tags Posts tagged with "Israel"


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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship after delays in the renewal of his UK visa, which some view as part of a crackdown on wealthy Russians.

Abramovich, who is worth an estimated £8.6 billion ($11.4 billion), exercised his right under Israel’s Law of Return, which allows Jews from anywhere in the world to gain Israeli citizenship.

Incidentally, with his new citizenship, Abramovich has instantly become Israel’s richest person and perhaps he’ll find it easier to get back into the UK as an Israeli citizen.

Unlike the Russians, the Israelis do get a visa-free stay in the UK for up to six months straight, but it’s not clear if the decision on the Tier 1 investor visa that he needs is actually affected by the citizenship of the applicant.

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After his injury to the left hamstring during the Premier League game vs Manchester City, Alvaro Morata had some medical tests in Spain.

The Spanish striker was ruled out of Spain’s World Cup Qualifiers vs Albania and Israel and after the medical assessment it is believed Morata could be out for around four weeks.

However, when Morata himself will be back from Spain, Chelsea will conduct their own tests.


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Chelsea star Pedro spoke after being selected in 25-man Spain squad for their incoming games against Israel (World Cup Qualifier) and France (friendly).

“It’s a new chance for me, a new challenge, – said Pedro when asked about head coach Julen LopeteguiWe are looking at how he wants to play, his ideas. He’s another coach to add to the list in my career. I’m pleased to meet with team-mates and experiencing a good moment with my club. I am happy to be here”.

Then he added: “We all come to join the team with the coach’s requests. I work at 100 per cent and try to compete at the top level. I have to make the most of the chances I’m given. I’m happy to be back and to train with the squad”.


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Chelsea captain John Terry can end his adventure with the Blues at the end of the season © Francesca Ceciarini

Chelsea boss José Mourinho spoke to BT Sport right after the game.

The Portuguese coach was satisfied for the result, but he’s concerned for John Terry’s injury:

“Very important three points, especially with what happened in Porto, we really needed to win this match.

“Two wins in few days for us is very important, I hope moral comes, tranquillity comes, confidence comes. We haven’t had two consecutive victories for a while, to do that is great, despite this everything is open for the last game, but in this moment we are in a good position.

“I think Maccabi don’t deserve such a hard punishment, tI think hey did ok for some periods of the game to be fair, even in ten men they had a very good chance and Begovic was very good to keep the clean sheet, they fought for the result.

“The pitch didn’t help the team with the best quality, we had an injury here yesterday with Ramires, today another one with John Terry, and I am happy that is just two because the pitch is really bad.

Terry is a big doubt for Spurs game, I don’t want to speak about the injury now because he will do some tests tomorrow in London, but of course he is a big doubt for Sunday’s clash.”

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Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo spent two years as a player for Maccabi Tel Aviv. On the occasion of Chelsea’s game against Maccabi Tel-Aviv tonight in Israel in the group stage of the Champions League he gave a special interview to the official website of the club.

The Nigerian admitted that even if football is not considered, the most important sport in Israel at a time when such a big European teams like Chelsea are coming to play against Maccabi no one remains indifferent to that. That is why Emenalo predicts a big atmosphere in the Sammy Ofer Stadium tonight.

Emenalo said:

”People all around the world have the same notion about Israel when it comes to football”

”You don’t expect the big interest before you get there and I was the same. My playing career was tapering off and I was in Belgium, trying to decide what the next stage would be and a friend and Nigeria national team-mate who was playing in Israel asked me to come out there because his team might be interested.”

”I thought it would not be a good end for my playing career but when I got there I was pleasantly surprised, first by the society because my only impression of it was from a distance. It only sounded like biblical stories until you got there and felt the warmth of the people.”

”In terms of football, I remember going to my first training session and I was impressed by the technical level. In Israel the emphasis is always on the technical.”

”It took me a while to realise that football was a very core part of Israel’s society. As we all know, Israel is a country that has often been involved in conflict and they are not many distractions from that but football is the one main distraction, so it is very important to the people and they take it very seriously.”

”I have travelled with Maccabi Tel Aviv supporters to away games in France and they were spectacular and I was impressed with the support they brought to Stamford Bridge,”

”This is such a big game for them. There is huge level of interest as it is Chelsea Football Club and it is Mr Abramovich’s club and Jose Mourinho’s team. Also everybody watches the Premier League. Ordinarily they would want the game to be played in Tel Aviv but it makes sense to play it at the new national stadium.”

”This is Maccabi Tel Aviv’s second season in the Champions League and first since 2004/05, and simply making this far is considered a success there reports Emenalo.”

”They are working on a low budget and they have difficulty attracting talent and for those combination of reasons, to be in the group stage of the Champions League is already an unbelievable achievement and that is what will make the game difficult for us, because they are playing for their pride.”

”They are not playing for fun, they are playing to express themselves and as a footballer you are always at your best when you are self-motivated and wanting to show your talent. I think they will be a dangerous opposition because of that.”

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Thibaus Courtois says his rehabilitation from knee injury is going well and that he will return to first team football in December. 

Courtois had an awful start to the season- he was sent off in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City on the opening weekend and promptly tore the meniscus in his right knee shortly after coming back. Asmir Bewgovic, who Chelsea bought back in the summer after letting Petr Cech go to Arsenal, has been filling in during Courtois’ absence.

Chelsea were prepared for the worst and thought the Beligum ‘keeper could be out for the season but the former Atletico Madrid Number 1 says he expects to be back by the end of the year.

He spoke to reporters following Belgium’s win over Israel in Euro 2016 qualifying and said:

“In terms of my knee, it’s good. 

“I’m doing my rehabilitation and it’s progressing well.

“From tomorrow [Wednesday], I’ll be starting the bulk of the work with my physio to come back as soon as possible.

“Of course I still have to be careful not to go too quickly. I should be back in December, all being well.

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Israel captain and Charlton defender, Tal Ben Haim has said that football was the best way to help Israeli.

Wales and Israel are both in the hunt for points to qualify for the Euro 2016 Championships and Tal Ben Haim knows it will be huge game and doesn’t expect anything easy.

Speaking ahead of the game against Wales in Haifa, the captain described football as the best way to represent the country and said:

“The atmosphere is something that you never saw in England. The fans are really passionate about the game. Fans bought tickets four months ago. The media, people in the street: everyone is talking about this game. It’s going to be a huge game for us. Obviously the fans are going to be behind us from the first minute.”

However, the Israeli captain is well aware of what’s happening in his country, such as the political conflict. He added:

“We want to put some smiles on people’s faces in Israel. Because sometimes they went through a difficult period, and football is the best place for us to represent the country. It is the best way for us to help the people, to put some smiles on their faces.”

Ben Haim has played for several top clubs in England in his career and has described the life there as magnificent, saying:

“I love England, I love London, I love the mentality. My kids were born here. They’ve gone back to the same school, and we live in the same area, Cobham, where I’ve had a place since I was at Chelsea. This is the best place in the world to be.”


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