Bonfeld is widely considered the finest pure playmaker of his Israeli generation. His versatile passing ability and deft ball control have brought him to the forefront of Israeli soccer. Elad was called up to the Israeli national team squad in 2004 and he is expected to take over from Eyal Berkovic when the time comes. The tricky midfielder is playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. December 8, 1980
Elad is a Ber-Sheva native and played for the local Hapoel team from childhood all the way through to their professional team. The playmaker debuted in the 1999-00 season, while Hapoel Ber-Sheva was mired in the second division. Bonfeld started to gain more responsibility in the team the following season, as he helped Hapoel to a successful promotion campaign in 2000-01 season.
Hapoel employed several expensive foreign midfield players in the 2001-02 campaign and therefore Bonfeld was relegated to utility duties. He started 8 games in the Israeli top division and came off the bench on 16 occasions, scoring one goal. Ber-Sheva was very competent overall that year, finishing sixth in the league.
The midfielder was not quite a perennial starter in the 2002-03 season, but showed a surprising penchant for goal scoring. In 14 starts and 13 appearances as a substitute, he scored 6 league goals and passed for 3 assists. At this point he had developed highly impressive ball control and earned a reputation as a tricky playmaker. Hapoel improved on place to sixth in the league and nearly qualified for the UEFA cup.
In the 2003-04 campaign, Bonfeld's goal scoring skills seemed to evaporate but his passing skills increased by leaps and bounds. His pin point passing and inspired dribbling saw Bonfeld blossom into one of the leagues most highly rated playmakers. He started 13 games and was a sub in 14 as he made 8 successful goal passes. Though Elad did not score in the league, he was among the scorers in Ber-Sheva's 4-1 win over Maccabi Herzelyia in the State Cup round of 16. Hapoel finished fourth in the Israeli Premier League and once again missed out on the UEFA Cup by one point. The playmaker's fine form led to a call up into the Israeli national team squad in early 2004.
The sublime passer's contract was extended by Ber-Sheva on August 15, 2004. However by the end of the month he had been sold to Maccabi Tel-Aviv in anticipation of their 2004-05 UEFA Champions League campaign. Bonfeld says he will miss his hometown fans but could not pass up the chance to "play in the Champions League against the giants of European soccer."