Maccabi Tel Aviv Ends 10-year Drought, Wins Israeli Soccer Championship

Canadian owner's strategy of bringing in crack staff of foreigners pays off.

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After a barren decade, Maccabi Tel Aviv finally secured its first Premier League soccer title on Monday night with a 2-0 road victory over Ramat Hasharon. The win leaves Maccabi on 73 points – 13 ahead of nearest rival Maccabi Haifa, which has four games left to play.

The last league championship came in 2003, when Maccabi Tel Aviv edged out Maccabi Haifa.

Maccabi's Canadian owner, Mitch Goldhar, brought in a crack team of foreign coaches, including former star Jordi Cruyff – son of legendary Dutch player Johan Cruyff – and former Barcelona youth team coach Oscar Garcia to spearhead his title challenge. Within one season, the tactic paid off, as Maccabi quickly established itself as this season's frontrunner.

Maccabi remains Israel's most successful team, with 19 league titles since 1935, 16 State Cup triumphs and three Toto Cup victories. In 1969 and 1971, the Yellows even won the Asian Club Championships, in an era when Israeli teams were still allowed to compete against teams from Arab states.

Maccabi Tel Aviv celebrating Israeli championship, April 22, 2013. Credit: Sharon Bukov

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