Israel boss' brilliant response to media question on Celtic winger Liel Abada

By David Walton

June 5, 2022

Israel manager Alon Hazan has delivered a fine response when asked by the media why he insisted on keeping Liel Abada on against Iceland over their other attackers.

Abada was front and centre for the Israelis on Thursday night as he notched his first-ever goal for his country on his first-ever start. The 2-2 draw came with Hazan also managing in his first game as the new manager.

Abada has just come off an incredible season at Celtic Park in which he managed to secure 15 goals and 11 assists [Transfermarkt]. And Hazan made the decision to keep him on the pitch until the 80th minute – making him the last of 5 subs to make way. The likes of Munas Dabbur and Mohammad Abu Fani went off earlier in the half.

Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

And as Hazan was asked why that was the case, he was in no mood to mince his words as he effectively stated Abada deserved the opportunity.

As quoted by ONE, Hazan said: “There is no reason to wait until the age of 23 with players who are able to bring high ability to the senior Israeli team even at a younger age. 

“In fact, age does not matter to me. The ones who are good and can contribute are the ones who should play.”

Liel Abada getting his deserved spotlight after previously being shunned

You have to say this opportunity with the Israeli national team is more than deserved for Liel. In truth, he should’ve been given more than just the odd cameo appearance throughout their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Incredibly, at the height of his Celtic influence, Abada was dropped from the senior squad to play with the under-21s back in the March internationals. Something that the player himself expressed his dissatisfaction with.

Now, he’s getting his chance under a manager that clearly rates him and likes what he can bring to the table. His goal for Israel was a carbon copy of what we’ve been seeing him do for Celtic all season – nipping in at the back post to slot home.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s great to see him finally earn his reward and mark it with a goal. One of the key positives for us is that he’s been able to realise his international ambitions with Celtic. That always helps when it comes to keeping them at the club for a sustained period.

Next up for Abada and Israel is a trip to Albania on Friday night in the Nations League. Another contest in which the winger will hope to start as he searches for another goal.

It’s great to see Hazan recognises the impact Liel can make at international level. Hopefully, it bears fruit in the coming fixtures once again.

In other news, Motherwell confirm pitch upgrade thanks to Celtic transfer money