Celtic star Liel Abada plays poster boy role for Israel U21s

By Euan Davidson

March 18, 2022

Given his blistering debut campaign for Celtic, you’d have thought Liel Abada might have been called up to the Israel national team for the international break.

After all, the former Maccabi Petah Tikva winger has made an amazing 25 goal contributions since signing for Celtic last summer. He’s averaging a goal or assist every 119 minutes [Transfermarkt], across all competitions. Staggering, really, for a guy we knew so little about.

With Israel, like other nations, preparing for the next round of fixtures, that kind of attacking threat might’ve been useful. Incongruous to leave out, even.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Instead, though, Liel Abada has become the face of the Israel U21s campaign to get into Euro 2023. On Instagram, Abada was pictured next to the squad list to face Poland and Germany, two crunch qualifiers for Abada’s side.

Abada, himself, was delighted, sharing the update on his own Instagram page, having also changed his name on the social media site to ‘Great’.

Well, fair enough.

Here’s the Israel U21 squad, with Leil Abada front and centre:

It’s not the first time Liel Abada has been used to front a campaign.

In Tel Aviv, back in October, the Celtic winger was on a 50ft poster, advertising adidas [Daily Record]. Still just 20, there’s every chance Abada will be the poster boy of Israeli football for years to come.

Few expected the winger to make a huge impact when he arrived at Celtic. He’s been absolutely phenomenal though, and alongside Josip Juranovic, arguably one of the best-value signings anywhere in Europe over 21-22.

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Yes, Liel Abada should be a full Israel international, but this role also makes sense for the Celtic winger

Now, about that U21 thing.

No doubt, Abada has been one of Israel’s star players anywhere this season. By rights, he should be front and centre for his country’s next matches.

However, Nir Bitton and co will be playing friendlies. The U21s are battling to get into next year’s Euros. It’s an absolute no-brainer, surely?

Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Bongarts/Getty Images

Liel Abada has 5 caps for both the full international team and the U21s, so it’s not as if he’s not being recognised. Instead, he’s got a crucial role to play. Israel’s U21 side face both Poland and Germany next [UEFA], no small task indeed.

There’s surely not any doubt of how important Abada will be long-term. If Celtic can get the best years of his career, we’ll be laughing.

His star’s on the rise. Don’t be fooled by a national team v U21s argument; they know just how important Liel Abada is.

Read more: Callum McGregor opens up on the “honest conversation” he had with Celtic staff