Spiegal, Giora : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Spiegal, Giora


Country Represented:

Years Competed:

Olympic Info:
Spiegal, an outstanding midfielder, was a starting member of the Israeli team that reached the quarterfinals and finished fifth at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. In Israel's opening preliminary game against Ghana, he was spectaculor, scoring a hat-trick and leading Israel to a 5-3 win. The next game, they defeated El Salvador 3-1 before losing to Hungary 2-0. Their two victories were enough for Israel to advance to the quarterfinals, where they met Bulgaria. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, and unfortunately for Israel, a coin toss was used to determine which team advanced to the semifinals. Bulgaria won the coin toss and eventually won the silver medal while Israel went home.

Career Highlights:
One of the greatest players in Israeli soccer history, Spiegal was an outstanding midfielder for the National team in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A member of the 1968 Asian Cup team that reached the final, Spiegal scored 4 goals in the tournament, including Israel's lone goal in the final, which they lost to Iran, 2-1. In 1970, he was a key part of Israel's qualification for the World Cup, the only time in the country's history that they have reached the final stage. Although they faced a difficult group, Israel played well and Giora was a part of Israel's only goal in World Cup play. After losing their opening game to Uruguay, they faced Sweden. The Swedes took a 1-0 lead in the 57th minute, but Israel came right back as Spiegal fed Mordechai Spiegler, who scored to tie the game -- it ended in a 1-1 draw. In the final game of their group, the Israelis drew with Italy, 0-0, but failed to advance to the next round.

Following his competitive career, Spiegal turned to coaching; he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Cup in 1988, Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv to the Championship only two years later and then managed Maccabi Haifa, one of the best teams in the Israel National League. In 1993-94, Haifa won the Israel League and even defeated Italian powerhouse Parma in a friendly that year. He also brought Haifa the Israel Cup in 1995 (that year, they defeated Amsterdam Ajax in a friendly) and 1998, and is credited by many in the development of some of Israel's top players of today, including Eyal Berkovic and Haim Revivo. As of May 2001, Spiegal is still 30th all-time in Israeli National League scoring (101 goals).

Birth and Death Dates:


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