No way Yossi will miss this match, I think he should be back in time. Worst time to be out to man. Tough game coming up, 3 pts and you might give yourselves a chance to qualify.
It has been a constant unfortunately that Benayoun always comes injured for the qualifiers (at least in the past years it has been this way). We all know his potential and what he could produce and how important he is for us. But IMHO if he is not at least 80% fit he shouldn`t play. We will have a tough and physical game against Croatia and they will man mark him for sure. He will be limited by injury and won`t take too many risks even though we all know how he dedicates himself in the NT games.
Hey I was just in Israel, awesome trip btw, and realized how many Russian speaking people actually live there! So I was wondering how come there aren't any in the NT? have there been any in the youth teams? and Maccabi and Hapoel TA didn't seem to have any either, I got to go to a game it was pretty sweet!
Good you enjoyed the trip. Many people end up saying this after they get to know Israel. A bit different from what the mass media reports eh?
Yes, indeed we have many citizens with Russian background. In late 80´s and early 90`s with the collapse of Soviet Union many Jews from those countries migrated to Israel in order to search for better life and have more contact with Judaism (or at least have freedom to express their faith that was repelled in socialist regime in Eastern Europe).
Some of them weren`t exactly Jews (many had ancestors, but no connection at all and simply went to have better life) and ended up not adapting so well into Israeli society and forming Russian neighborhoods (they have their own nespapers, supermarkets, tv channels etc...) in which we could compare as "little Russia". Many have come to contribute, but some also brought bad habits such as mobs, gang fights, steeling and so on.
As for sports insertion, I believe little by little in next generation we will have more players of Russian background. We actually have one which is Dani Bondar (his official name is Bondarev which his family adopted in Russia, but now in Israel he is called the original name). There is a player at Beitar Jerusalem Shmuel Kozokin which is also from Russian origin.
In Israel there is also a kind of dispute between Ashkenazic Jews (Jews from central, northern and Eastern Europe) and Sepharadic Jews (Jews from southern Europe, middle east). The first group are considered to have better positions in society, more the cultural and intelectual sectors of the country while the second group are more involved in the commerce and other parts of society. This is actually a long debate, but it reflects in sports.
Since football is a more popular game we have more players from Sepharadic origin (who in average are poorer than Ashkenazic Jews). In our current NT about 90% of the squad is Sepharadic.
If we go to other sports thar are a bit more elite in Israel such as tennis and basketball we could see that the percentage of Ashkenazic players increases.
Russians (and when I mean by Russians are the ones who came from mass migrations of Soviet Union in early 90´s) are somehow in the middle of this comparison and in sports this what happens as well. Many Ashkenazic Jewish players such as Nir Davidovich, Eyal Berkovic, Ben Sahar are from Polish/Russian background, but in Israel they are already considered Ashkenazic, Russians are a term for the ones who haven`t really adapted themselves to Israel or as I previously mentioned the ones who came from Soviet Union.
Hopefully I could help you with your doubt. Maybe a bit off the initial idea you had, but guess it could be useful.