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www.haaretzdaily.com

Racing Santander has high hopes for its new Israeli players

By Asher Goldberg and Doron Bergerfreund



Spanish first division club Racing Santander welcomes its first-ever foreign players today in the shape of Israelis Yossi Benayoun and Ilan Bachar.

The former Maccabi Haifa midfielder and Hapoel Tel Aviv defensive midfielder will arrive in the Basque city today and will be presented to the local and national media as the club celebrates a landmark signing of two players from outside Spanish borders.

The two will later meet the rest of the squad and new coach Manolo Parsiado and administrative boss Kiko Satian, who was largely responsible for bringing the two players to the club. Santander, which was promoted at the end of last season, will begin training immediately and will leave for a training camp in the Pyrenees on Sunday.

Benayoun and Bachar arrived in Spain yesterday and were taken for a tour of the city before going directly to the club's stadium El Sardinero, where the offices also are. Both players met Parsiado, who told them that he was hoping that they would be the club's spearhead.

"Benayoun and Bachar are a little overawed by the welcome but they will receive a permanent escort and next week they will be joined by their wives," said the players' agent, Ronnen Katzav yesterday. "I believe that they will both have a great season, the club is relying on them," Katzav continued.

Second chance

It is Benayoun's second foray into Europe. In 1996 - still a youth - the Dimona boy was bought by Ajax Amsterdam and moved to the Netherlands with his family and girl friend but within months, the youngster felt homesick. He returned home and rejoined his old club, Hapoel Be'er Sheva. He began playing for the full squad, which was relegated at the end of the 1997-98 season.

At 22, Benayoun has already enjoyed a rich international career with the national junior and youth sides before moving on to the under-21s and the full team. As a youngster, he showed far superior skills to his European opponents.

Benayoun left Be'er Sheva and headed north to Maccabi Haifa after the team was relegated. He has played there for the past four seasons. He had an excellent run in Haifa where he not only helped the club win two league championships and reach one State Cup final and two semi-finals. In Europe Benayoun was part of the team that reached the Cup Winners Cup quarterfinals after beating Paris St Germain and Ried of Austria. Until last season's success by Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Cup, it was the best showing by any Israeli club in European competition.

A dream come true

Bachar has said he has realized a dream. The 27-year-old has managed to land a club abroad when there appeared to be no chance of it happening.

Bachar's career began at Hapoel Ramat Gan before he was snapped up for $200,000 by Maccabi Herzliya at age 20. He played as a striker at Herzliya and also for the under-21 squad under Yitzhak Shum, the new Maccabi Haifa coach. When Herzliya hired coach Shiye Feigenbaum, he saw Bachar's potential as an attacking right-back, one of the best in the country.

After two seasons Bachar moved to Betar Jerusalem which was then coached by Dror Kashtan and he was part of the championship winning side in 1997-98. When Kashtan moved to take up the reins at Hapoel Tel Aviv, he took Bachar with him and the club soon got on the right track as they won the double and the State Cup. From there the path to the national squad was practically assured.

Bachar, who has a French passport, is not considered a foreign player by European Union states and is eligible to play in Spain without any immigration or work restrictions. He has played 183 Premier League matches and has scored 18 goals.

Lucky to survive

Despite the optimistic declarations of coach Persiado, it seems a pretty safe bet that the club will fight for survival in what is probably the world's most difficult league this season. The club will be happy if it ends the season even one place above the relegation zone.

Santander is a club which has suffered from erratic form and has, over the years, been one of the outfits which has been unable to secure a place in the top flight. Its best ever placing was second, but that was 71 years ago.



they were officially presented in a press conference earlier today and I heard the media there is all over them. :)
 

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You know where i can find photo's or something like that?
 

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Presentados Yossi Benayoun e Ilan Bakhar

Los jugadores israelitas Yossi Benayoun e Ilan Bakhar han sido presentados como nuevos jugadores racinguistas. Ambos jugadores se mostraron satisfechos de recalar en el conjunto cántanbro, y deseosos de darlo tado en un equipo en el que esperan triunfar.
Yossi Benayoun nació en Beer- Sheva (Israel) el 5 de mayo de 1980, mide 1,78 y pesa 70 kilos. Está casado y ocupa la posición de centrocampista, volante o delantero. A los 14 años el ariete fichó por el Ajax de Holanda. Posteriormente, militó en las filas del Hapoel Beer- Sheva (1996- 98), y del Maccabi Haifa, club de donde procede. Con este equipo se proclamó Campeón durante las temporadas 2000/01 y 2001/02.
Benayoun ha sido internacional en todas las categorías, desde la sub 18 (54 encuentros, declarado mejor jugador por la FIFA), pasando por la sub 22 (35 encuentros, nominado mejor jugadores en 3 Torneos disputados durante su estancia en este combinado) y concluyendo en la Selección Absoluta, con la que ha disputado cerca de 20 encuentros.
Yossi Benayoun es un jugador rápido, con gran calidad, mucho despliegue, temperamental, decisivo en el área, contundente y con buen manejo de balón. Por su parte Ilan Bakhar, actúa principalmente en el lateral derecho, y nació en Ramat Gan (Israel) el 17 de mayo de 1975, mide 1,87 y pesa 78 kilos. Está casado y su madre es francesa, por lo que cuenta con pasaporte comunitario (Francés). Bakhar jugó en el Hapoel Ramat Gan entre 1993 y 1995. Posterioremente, pasó a militar en las filas del Maccabi Hertzlia (1995/98), Betar Jerusalén (1998/99) y Hapoel Tel Aviv (1999/02). Con este último equipo se proclamó Campeón de Liga y Copa en la temporada 1999/00.
Bakhar es Internacional con la Selección Absoluta de Israel, y es un jugador con mucho despliegue físico, gran calidad, experimentado, fuerte y con velocidad.
 

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Ruven,


you little kfar saba spammer!!!!! How am i suppose to read that!?!?!??!


As for the pics, i think you can go into Google.com, type Racing Santander, go to the age and see the press news! I think they'll have something there. If not, then i think for sure by Friday, Channel 5 will have them ;)

regarding wives?? IS Benayoun married or something?
 

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Ruven, I don't have any link but I did get to see both Ilan and Yossi in their new kit, and I have to say they look good. :) Makes me very proud to see more Israelis abroad.

As for their pre-season fixtures as Kappa requested somewhere, here it is:
Code:
Date Venue Time Game
 
27 July Villarcayo 18:30 Osasuna-Racing 
1 August Cayón 18:30 Cayón-Racing 
10 August Luarca * Valladolid-Racing 
16 August Campos de Sport 21:00 Racing-Roma 
21 August Campos de Sport 21:00 Racing-Athletic 
24 August El Molinón * Sporting-Racing
Needless to say, the biggest clash would take place on August 16th as Racing take on Totti's Roma. :cool:

The players will have a medical tomorrow and will leave for a training camp on the 21th.
 

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Didn't ask for anything!!! :fero: :fero:

But thank you for telling me :groan:


As for the pics, the jerseys are kinda ugly but fair! Who is sponsoring them, both the logo and the make????

I saw the pictures too! :) there was atleast 30 camera man in the conference centre, so that is good.

Yossi was wearing a black suite and a deep purple shirt... :cool:


Tell me something??
Santander is a Basque City (Basque = ETA) how do you think the residents in the Basque Area feel about Israelis playing in there teams??? How do you feel when Spanish players in other places of the country see Israelis playing for the Basque??

They'll think we support them!!!!!! :dazed: :dazed:
 

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It's not that we're very popular with the Spaniards, in our games in Spain there were always called against Jews and about the holocaust.
 

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2003 Fixtures released

Racing will start home to Valladolid (September 1th) and has a relatively comfortable start. The real fun begins on Day 5 as they play away to Deportivo La Coruna, and the following matchday Yossi Benayoun and Ilan Bachar will play at home against Real Madrid. On Day 8 Racing hosts Barca


Full list: http://www.marca.es/futbol/calendario_liga0203/primera_vuelta1.html
 

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Guys, tell that reporter to get his facts straight! Santander is not Basque, it is in Cantabria.
 

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in "itton tel aviv" theres an article saying something copletely different.
they say the players dont like the 2 israelis, specially benayoun, and while bachars place in the team is safe, racing bought another spanish young left winger thats supposed to be benayouns contest, and theyre counting on him(benayoun) to come from the bench.
 

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The "ITTON" (AKA newspaper) can say what it wants to say....


At the end of that day, that Itton is wiping my ass in shame....


You gotta know Israel and the media. It talks to much. The fact that Racing got both players is good and useful. Its not like that newspaper went to Spain and talked (in Spanish) to the players.

Let both Benayoun and Bachar have there fun. There a major strategic to the team!

Good luck to you both!
 

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After medical and fitness examination it was found that Ilan Bachar is in excellent shape, however Benayun is not due to his injury and wedding. The team hopes that he will be fit within 2-3 weeks.
 

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all the troubles Yossi is having with the Israeli fa ain't encouraging, but I am sure he'll get over it and will play for them in this way or another. Racing start their preseason in 7 days, I am anxious to see Bachar and Yossi shine against Osasuna. :excited:
 

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Yes, the question is how long this whole issue with the FA is gonna take. I just hope FIFA will make their decision soon...
 
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