Chelsea to Tel Aviv?

“I created one super successful football club. Maybe I should do it again. In Tel Aviv.” Picture source: WikiMedia

This may not be the most mature response to Roman Abramovich’s new status as an Israeli citizen, now that he has pulled the plug on the Chelsea stadium project, and there are rumors he is trying to sell the club and quit his commercial ties to the UK. However, I cannot help hoping that Israel’s richest citizen does sell Chelsea and then buys Maccabi Tel Aviv, turning it into a European giant of a club that puts Israeli soccer on the map, big time. Boy, would that seriously trouble the BDS activists in Europe!

I know it’s very unlikely, but it’s an intellectual and emotional pleasure playing with the possibilities. I mean, if deals could be done fast enough, the dream outcome would be the double signing of Gareth Bale and Cristian Ronaldo…

[Not so incidentally, if you look at the mainstream media discussion boards about this – for example, the Guardian – you will see that some of the comments are infused with what can only be called antisemitism. It seems that a certain group of people were glad to have Roman while he was their team’s benefactor. But when he is said to be departing, suddenly he is evil, corrupt, and Jewish. As I have said before, the ability of people posting on these boards to hide behind pseudonyms, gives them the ‘courage’ to post vile hate and naked antisemitism. If they were forced to give their true identities, I wonder how many of them would be so bold? Or, is it better that they vent their spleen? Not a short topic. But it needs dealt with.]

Maccabi Tel Aviv wins Euroleague

I wasn’t a basketball fan before now…

From the Times of Israel:

Maccabi Tel Aviv wins Euroleague final 98-86

Israeli champions beat Spain’s Real Madrid in overtime, crowned kings of Europe in Milan

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv won the Euroleague basketball final 96-86 Sunday night against Real Madrid in Milan in a nail-biting overtime victory.

Maccabi chalked up its first European championship win since back-to-back wins in 2004 and 2005, and its sixth overall.

The Tel Aviv team had not been fancied even to make the final four, and only secured its final place with a last-seconds victory over the mighty CSKA Moscow on Friday.

Maccabi point guard Yogev Ohayon, speaking on Israel Radio seconds after Sunday’s victory was sealed, described the win as “unbelievable… I’m in complete shock.” Fellow player Devin Smith said the fans had been crucial, turning the Milan stadium “into Nokia” — Maccabi’s home Tel Aviv stadium.

Other Maccabi players and coaches called it the greatest victory in the team’s history, eclipsing even its first, legendary 1977 championship, when then captain Tal Brody had proclaimed, “We are on the map.” The delighted surprise at the triumphant culmination of the season contrasted utterly with the team’s shaky start in 2013-14, when it lost numerous domestic games, to the point where there were calls for the sacking of Boston-born coach David Blatt.

Read it all, here.

Quite something. Well done, Maccabi.

Now, if only our soccer teams could get a portion of that success…