Sheffer, Emmanuel : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Sheffer, Emmanuel

Sheffer is considered the Israeli National team's greatest soccer coach ever.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1924

Career Highlights:
Sheffer started his coaching career at Bnei Yehuda in Tel Aviv, and later coached top Israeli teams, Betar Jerusalem, Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Petah Tikva. Appointed the Israeli national coach in 1966, Emmanuel was very fortunate in the caliber of players at his disposal. Giora Shpigel, Mordechay Spiegler, and Itzhak Shum led the greatest attacking force Israel has ever known while Sheffer's tactical know-how provided the operational backbone of the side. With Sheffer at the helm, Israel qualified for the 1968 Olympics. His side looked fabulous in the event itself beating Guinea 5-3 and El Salvador 3-1. Israel lost the quarter final on a coin toss (!) after a draw with Bulgaria.

Sheffer's charges did well in the 1970 World Cup qualification campaign and needed to beat Australia on aggregate to qualify. Israel beat the Aussies at home 1-0 off Giora Shpigel's goal. A 1-1 draw in enemy territory sufficed. Israel had qualified for the World Cup for the first, and so far, only time. In the first game of the World Cup, Israel were defeated 2-0 by a rampant Uruguay. Sheffer came up with a ultra-defensive formation for the two remaining games. Mordechay Spiegler scored a brilliant goal in the next game, a 1-1 draw with Sweden. In their last game, Israel ground out a 0-0 draw with the fierce Italians, who would go all the way to the final that year. Sheffer earned accolades the world over for his intelligent hands on approach.

Sheffer was the godfather, mentor and rolemodel of the next generation of Israeli coaches.


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