Israel U21 coach lauds "excellent" Celtic star Liel Abada

By David Walton

March 24, 2022

Israel U21 coach Alon Hazan has lauded Celtic winger Liel Abada after he dropped down from the senior ranks for the current international break.

Abada has been given more opportunities by his national team since signing for the Hoops in the summer. The former Maccabi Petah Tikva featured 4 times for the senior side in cameo roles between September and November 2021 respectively.

However, Israel first-team coach Willibald Ruttensteiner has made the decision to cut Abada from the senior ranks for the current break. Instead, he’ll be with the U21s for their UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying matches against Poland and Germany respectively.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And as he prepares for the first of those clashes against the Poles this afternoon, Hazan has taken time to credit Abada for what he’s shown as he tipped him for greater international opportunities in the future.

As quoted by Israeli outfit ONE, Ruttensteiner said: “Liel is an excellent player and I do not think there is pressure on him.

“As you get to the biggest classes it makes you raise your level. I hope he will have many such opportunities in the future”

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Liel Abada looking to showcase his talents for U21s

It’s pretty evident that this isn’t the level Abada sees himself as operating at. Given Israel’s struggles in their World Cup qualifying campaign, you would’ve thought the likes of Abada would’ve been next to see some game-time.

It makes even more sense considering Israel’s upcoming double-header against Germany and Romania are both friendly matches. There’s no reason to keep Abada out of action, and in truth, this was an opportunity for Ruttensteiner to take a closer look at him.

Abada has come on leaps and bounds since November also. He’s become one of the most important cogs in Celtic’s attacking arsenal. That’s highlighted in his goal contribution record too. Abada has 14 goals and 11 assists for the Hoops, with 2022 looking like a real breakthrough season for him.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as though Israel have a spot for him at the moment. And it’s a shame given the Nations League kicks off again in June – a competition Liel will surely have his eyes on impressing in.

For now, however, his assignment is clear. He’s to help the Israeli U21s secure a couple of positive result in their Euro qualifying double-header. It’s easy to forget at times that Abada himself is only 20 years of age. Frightening given the quality he already possesses.

Hopefully, as is the case with all of our international stars, they all come back injury-free.

In other news, Matt O’Riley discusses 2019 Denmark trip that could’ve led to him missing out on Celtic