Tal, Idan : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Tal, Idan

Tal is a midfielder with excellent all-around skills, who plays for the Israeli national team.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Sept. 9, 1975

Career Highlights:
As a youngster, Tal led the Jerusalem Reds to promotion to the top league. Ailing Hapoel Jerusalem then sold the young talent to Maccabi Petah Tikva where he performed beautifully and found his way to the national team.

Tal then enjoyed loan spells with top Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv, and Spanish promotion contenders Malaga before catching the eye of several English clubs with his stylish passing displays. He was signed by the English Premier League club Everton for 700,000 Pounds after a protracted battle for a work permit at the start of the 2001-02 season.

Former Glasgow Rangers mastermind, Walter Smith, who brought him over from Israel played him off the bench and Tal responded with some well-taken goals, though many felt he was not getting the chances he deserved. New manager David Moyes ignored the player completely and Tal was growing restless on the Merseyside.

Tal had played in 33 games overall for Everton F.C., but since Moyes took over he had not played a single minute. As a result, on the last second before the transfer deadline, Tal was loaned out to Spanish club Rayo Valecano. The Spaniards were undergoing an injury crisis and needed Tal to fill in a gap in midfield. The agreement included an option to buy at the end of the season.

However, after a failed two-month tenure in Spain, Maccabi Haifa purchased the player for the remainder of the season. Tal was sublime for the Greens scoring 6 goals and making five assists in 12 starts but Maccabi lost the title on the last day of the season.

Idan truly lived up to his reputation as a midfield general with a stellar 2003-04 campaign. He helped Maccabi Haifa reach the 2nd round of the UEFA cup with a goal against Cwmbran Town of Wales in the qualification round and a goal Publikum of Slovenia in the first round. In the Israeli Premier League, Tal registered 30 appearances, scoring 5 goals and passing for 5 assists. His versatility contributed to Haifa's championship title.

Jerusalem, Israel


Physical description:

Career Statistics:
46 caps/ 4 goals

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