Haim, Offir : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Haim, Offir

Offir is a dynamic forward, possessing impressive speed and killer instincts. The Israeli signed for Istanbulspor in Turkey and is a member of the Israeli national team squad.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 21, 1975

Career Highlights:
Offir is played for the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth team, winning the youth league and cup, but failed to break through into the first team. Maccabi loaned the striker out to lower division clubs, as he was considered a minor prospect at best. In the 1997-98 season Haim displayed his predatory scoring ability for second division side, Maccabi Yafo. His 26 goal tally led the league as Yafo won the league title and were promoted.

Offir's impressive form in Yafo convinced Maccabi to give the striker a second chance in the 1998-99 season. However, he failed to break into the first team though he was a highly regarded reserve. Haim started seven league matches and appeared as a substitute in 17, scoring 1 goal. Tel Aviv finished second, eight points behind champions Maccabi Haifa.

Haim was a substitute striker for Maccabi again in the 2000-01 season. He scored three league goals and one goal in the State Cup against Hapoel Hod-ha'Sharon in the round of 16. Maccabi suffered through a rather pedestrian year, placing fourth despite a highly expensive squad. The striker was in the squad as the 2001-02 season kicked off, but was soon deemed surplus to requirements, as Tel Aviv cleared out several players.

Offir moved down south to Hapoel Ber-Sheva midway through the 2001-02 season. The forward found good form in the desert as he scored 5 league goals and looked more aggressive then he had in years. Thanks in part to his dangerous forays, Ber-Sheva finished fifth and only a point away from European qualification.

In 2002-03, Haim established himself as one of Israel's top forwards. Hapoel really jelled under the tutelage of Lufa Kadosh, and Offir formed an effective strike partnership with Nigerian Blessing Kaku. The Tel Aviv native scored 10 league goals, leading Ber-Sheva to fifth place. Haim also played a crucial role in Hapoel's State Cup run. He scored against Hapoel Tsafririm Holon in the round of 16, and again in the final which they lost to Hapoel Ramat-Gan on penalties.

The striker was far and away Ber-Sheva's best player in the 2003-04 season and was one of the leagues best performers. He struck 16 goals, thus leading the league, and boasted impressive passing skills to boot. Hapoel finished fourth and Haim was finally called up to the Israeli national team.

Offir fielded several offers from European clubs but decided on Istanbulspor, the fourth biggest team in Turkey. The striker is playing for the club in the 2004-05 season. The Israeli was pleased with the transfer, saying: "I am very excited at fulfilling this lifelong dream. I hope to succeed but really, I just want to enjoy my soccer."

Origin:
Tel Aviv, Israel



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References:


http://www.angelfire.com/
http://maccabi-tlv.nana.co.il/
http://www.one.co.il/