Harazi, Alon : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Harazi, Alon

Harazi was the premier right-back in the Israeli game for over a decade, respected for his intelligence and leadership on the pitch. A member of Maccabi Haifa, he helped the two-time defending Israel League champions become the first Israeli team reach the group stage of the Champions League.



Birth and Death Dates:
b. Feb. 13, 1971

Career Highlights:
A forward with Hakoah Ramat Gan at the start of his career, Harazi was turned into a defender upon his transfer to Maccabi Haifa in 1990 by coach Schlomo Scharf's. Alon held together the back line of one of the great Israeli sides of all time. In 1990-91, Alon's first season at Maccabi, he contributed to a fabulous league and Cup "double." Two years later, in 1993, Haifa netted the Israel Cup again. The 1993-93 Haifa side was notable for its attacking merits since it featured the talents of Reuven Atar, Eyal Berkovic and Alon Mizrahi. However, without Harazi keeping the peace at the back they could never have won the championship and beaten Parma.

A severe injury led to a crisis in confidence for the defender. Harazi found himself benched by coach Giora Shpigel and was eventually transfer listed. Harazi was never sold, and instead spent a year on loan to Betar Jerusalem. That season, Jerusalem won the title with style while Haifa's season was so dismal, that long-time coach Shpigel quit in shame by the end of the year. In 1999, Alon was instrumental in Maccabi's run to the quarterfinal of the European Cup Winners Cup. He earned accolades world-wide for his competent and reliable displays at the back. Maccabi regained its place as the leading club in Israel, with Harazi firmly established as the elder statesman of the club, winning both the 2000-01 and 2001-02 championships. In 2002, Harazi led the Greens in the first Israeli foray into the Champions League.

With Harazi's help, the Greens enjoyed a successful Champions League campaign in 2002-03. They lost 5-2 to Manchester United in the first game but bounced back with a famous 3-0 win over Olympiakos. After two straight losses to Bayer Leverkusen they proceeded to beat Manchester United, 3-0, in a great performance. Haifa ended up in third place and were knocked out of the UEFA cup by AEK Athens.

Alon was rock-solid in defense throughout the 2002-03, season and started 25 games while scoring two goals. Haifa lost the championship on the last day of the season on goal difference. In 2003-04 the aging Harazi found himself starting less and less. He was in the opening lineup 16 times and made 2 appearances as a substitute, as Haifa won the Israeli Premier League title.

Origin:
Ramat Gan, Israel

Position:
Right sided or central defender

Physical description:
5"10

157 lbs.

Career Statistics:
82 caps/1 goal




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References:
Maccabi Haifa Official Site
One- Israel's Sports Portal


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