Spiegler, Mordechay 'Mottale' : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Spiegler, Mordechay 'Mottale'

Spiegler is considered one of Israel's greatest soccer players. He was the only goal scorer for Israel in World Cup play, and might have been the all-time leading scorer in Israel League history had he not spent his best years abroad. He still is ranked third overall. In 2001, when FIFA sat down to determine the 10 most beautiful goals in World Cup history, Spiegler's goal against Sweden in the 1970 competition was selected.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Aug. 19, 1944

Career Highlights:
Spiegler, who has the most Israeli National team goals (32) in history, led his country's team to the quarterfinals of the 1968 Olympics. He also led Israel to its only appearance in the final stage of the World Cup in 1970 and is the only Israeli to score a goal in World Cup competition. The triumph came in a match versus Sweden, a 1-1 draw.

In 1967-68, Spiegler was his league's top scorer with 15 goals. The following season, he repeated the feat with 23 goals. The next year, 1960-70, he was even more effective, scoring 26 goals overall, and winning top scorer honors for the third straight time. In 1970-71, Mottale led the Netanya squad to the Israel League title. Netanya was the first team from outside the Tel Aviv (Gush Dan) area to capture the top honors.

Spiegler then left Israel and spent a few years playing in the French first division with F.C Paris (now-defunct) and Paris St. Germain, and he is still fondly remembered by the French. He was also one of the first foreign stars to be tempted to the USA in the 1970s by a higher salary. Spiegeler played alongside Pele for the New York Cosmos but found the level of play unsatisfactory.

Mottale retired in 1977 and later coached Maccabi Haifa, Hapoel Haifa, and Betar Tel Aviv. In 1981, Betar convinced him to come out of retirement and Spiegler played the final 14 games of the season for the club. He retired again and returned to coaching. In 1982, he won the title with the Netanya team which included Oded Machness, Moshe Griani and Benny Lam. Spiegler then left coaching to become a commentator.

In 1998, the Israeli newspapers Maariv and Yediot Aharonot named Spiegler the most outstanding soccer player in the nation's history. He characterized this recognition as "the happiest and greatest of my career."

Azbest, former Soviet Union

Attacking midfielder or forward.

Career Statistics:
82 caps/ 32 goals

168 goals in 375 appearances

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