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Maccabi' ll shake Europe…Says Bello Yero, the Nigerian player who replaced Aiyegbeni in Israeli club

Posted by By JOE APU on 2006/05/26 | Views: 963 |

Maccabi' ll shake Europe…Says Bello Yero, the Nigerian player who replaced Aiyegbeni in Israeli club


Israel is fast becoming the new mecca of football for Nigerian footballers, as they now use the nation’s clubs as stepping stone into European clubs for a more thriving career.

Israel is fast becoming the new mecca of football for Nigerian footballers, as they now use the nation’s clubs as stepping stone into European clubs for a more thriving career.

With players like Yakubu Aiyegbeni who first went to Israel before heading to the English Premiership, where he is today making waves with Middlesbrough...and before that, Portsmouth.

Maccabi Haifa FC, bent on continuing with the tradition of fielding more Nigerians, have gone for more of his type and are set to make hay in the coming season.

The young new discovery of the club is Bello Yero, who joined the club in February 2006 and started playing for the junior team.

Yero became an instant hit in the Israeli League, as he banged in eight goals to emerge the junior team’s highest goal scorer and got an award for it from the club president. To show their appreciation for the youngster the senior team coach, Ronnie Levi, has extended the olive branch to the player to feature in the senior team.

The young striker, who hails from Kaduna State and on break from the league, told Daily Sunsport that he feels great to be signed by the Israeli clubside. Even more exciting to the player is the fact that he would play in the UEFA Champions League in the new season.

The 18-year-old, who has been offered a new 4-year deal, says he is happy and very much look forward to appearing for the club in the prestigious UEFA League. “I feel good to be part of Maccabi Haifa and, having won the league again, would be in the UEFA Champions League, with the hope of doing better.

“From the recruitement going on now, Maccabi will not be a push over when the season resumes in Europe, especially in the Champions League. I have a strong inkling that the coming season would be one that would see us proud in Europe. Though, I have only been there for three months, what I see of their league is one that encourages me and puts me under pressure to perform.

“Aiyegbeni is a player they respect a great deal in Israel because of his performance while he was there, but I hope to surpass him. It won’t be easy but I have made up my mind to play this game and will go all out to score the goals. It’s my desire to make a mark in football and I want to help my club go past the first round of the UEFA Champions League,” he said.

Yero, who also looks forward to playing for Nigeria if he gets the opportunity, said he hopes he would be given the chance to make it. He noted that while he had a call-up to the senior team, there is another Nigerian, Obi Etie, who will soon explode.

“There are lots of Nigerians in the Israeli League. Though, I don’t know all of them but Nigeria’s No 1 goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, is popular. He is a source of inspiration to me. Often times he calls me on phone to tell me about life and how I should comport myself in my club, so as not to get into trouble. He is a player I have a lot of respect for and see him as a great inspiration, as he carry’s everyone of us along,” he stated.

Yero, who says he feels comfortable scoring goals, having come from First Bank FC and Rainbow FC of Lagos, will play alongside West Ham star, Yaniv Katan, who has signed a four-year deal with former club Maccabi Haifa. Katan put an end to his brief but unhappy spell in England, less than six months after joining the Hammers on a free transfer.
The Israeli international winger is understood to have rejoined his former club for a nominal fee. The transfer came about after Katan was told by Alan Pardew recently that he no longer featured in his plans.
Twenty five-year-old Katan made just one start during his brief career at West Ham...and five further appearances from the bench.
Maccabi Haifa is one of the best soccer clubs in Israel. It was established in 1919. Maccabi's home field is called Kiryat Eliezer; it has 17,500 seats. The club has won the last three Israeli championships and become the first Israeli club that advanced to the best league in the world – the European Champions League. About 90 per cent of Haifa's players play for their countries’ national teams such as Nigeria, Lithuania, Croatia, Bosnia and, of coarse, Israel. Maccabi Haifa nowadays are called the ‘Israeli Manchester United’, and this came as a result of the victory 3–0 over Manchester United in the European Champions League.

On May 15, the Israeli soccer season ended and was marked by little fanfare but lots of money talks, after Maccabi Haifa became the first club in over 40 years to win three consecutive championships.
Haifa's dominance was so complete they were effectively crowned champions, well before the season's halfway stage at the start of the year.

In winning a 10th title since their inaugural crown in 1984, Haifa were more solid and workmanlike than in previous seasons but were too good for their opponents.

Local media named at least five Haifa players in their team of the season, while Brazilian striker Gustavo Bocoli and coach Ronnie Levy were the top picks for player and coach of the season.
Haifa secured Israel's only spot for the qualifying stage of next season's Champions League, while runners-up and State Cup winners are Hapoel Tel Aviv, third placed are Betar Jerusalem and fourth placed Bnei Yehuda got UEFA Cup berths.

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