Zohar, Itzhak : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Zohar, Itzhak

Zohar was an integral cog in the fabulous early to mid 1990s Maccabi Tel Aviv machine. In his heyday he had the most accurate and lethal free-kick in Israel

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Oct. 31, 1970

Career Highlights:
After Maccabi won the 1991-92 Israel League title, Zohar scored 22 goals during the 1993-94 season as a deep-lying midfielder. That year, Maccabi finished second in the league and won the State Cup. In the great season of 1995-96, Maccabi won the league and Cup "double" as Zohar scored nine goals.

For the 1996-97 season, Zohar joined Betar Jerusalem. That was the season he established himself as the best free-kicker the country had ever seen and as the highest percentile scorer in the world; he scored 14 goals and Betar won the league championship. Zohar then moved to English Premier League side Crystal Palace but his tenure there dd not live up to expectations. He returned to play for Maccabi Haifa among other teams but could not regain his form.

During the 1999-2000 season, Zohar blossomed under the careful tutelage of Uri Malmilian, and scored 11 league goals while he became the indisputed leader of the team. Zohar was then arguably the best player in the country the following year as he scored 14 goals . Zohar started the 2001-02 season in Netanya scoring five goals, but ended up in Betar Jerusalem again where he scored another six.

Netanya's release of Zohar resulted in the loss of the team's player; and their excellent coach, Malmilian, resigned in protest. Betar were at the time facing almost certain relegation, but Zohar led the team to last second survival.

In 2002-03 Betar had a slightly improved squad which wallowed in mediocrity. Thanks to Zohar's 11 goals and 5 assists, Betar avoided relegation . Betar finished in ninth place.

Zohar signed for S.C Ashdod and will played out the rest of the 2003-04 season in the port town. Zohar scored three goals during his stay at the club, helping Ashdod's star studded team avoid relegation. The midfielder was said to be considering retirement as he could not find a club for the 2003-04 season.

In January, 2005, Zohar was finally signed by a Premier League club. The club in question was Arab-Israeli side Hapoel Nazareth-Elite. Zohar said "I am incredibly hungry and I miss the ball beyond belief." Itzhik's deep desire to return made the end result seem truly heartbreaking. After three games for Nazareth, however he was unable to recapture the form that made him famous. On February 14, 2005 Zohar announced his retirement. He will most likely try his hand at business.

Tel Aviv, Israel


Career Statistics:
124 goals in 345 games (16th on the all-time list).

Use links below to navigate through the soccer section of Jews In Sports.

< PreviousNext >