Maccabi Haifa is the main club of the Israeli city Haifa. The city is located in northern Israel,between the green Carmel mountains and the blue meditterranean sea.The city has a population of 300,000 people (the 3rd biggest in Israel) from all strata of the Israeli sociaty.The football club Maccabi was founded in 1919 but lasted for only one year.In 1940 it was renewd.
Maccabi Haifa won 5
championships-(1984,1985,1989,1991,1994) and 4 cups
(1962,1991,1993).MHFC also lost in 5 cup finals
(1963,1971,1985,1987,1989).Since 1985 Maccabi Haifa was in every second
cup final (except 1997).MHFC is the most dominant club in Israel in recent
years,and is rated 2nd in the 90s general league table.More details on the 90s leage table and on the alltime league table are in the Statistics Page .
Maccabi Haifa finished the 1994 season without a single loss in the league and set a new israeli record of 45 games in a row without a loss (including the last matches of the 93 season and the first matches in the 95 season)
Maccabi Haifa won the double (cup and championship) in 1991.
Maccabi Haifa is also the most succesful Israeli club in Europe after going to the 2nd round in the Cup Winners Cup two years ago.Maccabi Haifa most famous game was on that competition-beating the Cup Winners Cup holders (at the time)-Parma,away, in Parma! (1:0 scored by Alon Mizrahi).However Parma won the first game in Haifa 1:0 (Brolin) and on the penalties Haifa lost.More details about this historic game are in Michael Medved's m.Haifa-Parma page .
In January 1996 Maccabi Haifa achieved another brilliant victory,against none other than the world and Europe champions- AJAX AMSTERDAM -2:1 in Haifa.Although the match was only a friendship one,Haifa's victory is most prestigious,the victoy stopped a series of more than 50 matches of the eurocup holders without a single loss.After the loss to Maccabi Haifa,Ajax had a few unsuccessful matches,including losses in the dutch league in which they did'nt loose for more than a year.Haim Revivo,the israeli league top scorer scored after only 3 minutes,but Litmanen equalized shortly afterwords.Haim Silvas,a 21 year old home player,that came as a substitute only minutes before,shocked Ajax and the world 3 minutes into extra time (!) with an amazing kick from more than 20 meters.More details about this game are on Michael Medved's page:Maccabi Haifa-Ajax
The owner of the team is Ya'akov Shahar-a rich buisness man and a MH supporter who bought the club and invested a lot of money in it in order to make it the best in Israel.Shahar's target is to reach one of the european compatitons each year,and so far he succeded (CWC in 94,CC in 1995,CWC in 1996,UEFA cup in 1997 and Intertoto in 98...)
Maccabi Haifa is one of the 3 most popular clubs in Israel.
It has fans outside the borders of Haifa-all over Israel and the
world.The club enjoys popularity in all population's strata-rich
and poor,eastern and western,Jews and Arabs.
Due to the large Arab population of the city Haifa,and due to their support in the club,Maccabi haifa was one of the first teams in Israeli football that had Arab players in its squad.The most famous of them is Zahi Armeli,that won the top scorer award in 88 and also three championships with the team.In today's squad MH has 2 arab players-Rajib Baransy and Ayman Halhala.
The MH crowd is known for its sportsmenship and class.One of the finest
examples to that is the game against Hapoel Bet Shean in the last
week of the 1995 season.
Hapoel Bet Shean which is a small club from a distnict province came to Haifa knowing that they have to win to avoid relegation. But Haifa also needed to win in order to win the championship. No one gave a chance to Hapoel Bet Shean,especially after Haifa led 2:0 in half time.But somehow Bet Shean succeeded to equalize,and scored a winning goal in the last minutes of the game.Although they lost the championship,The Maccabi haifa fans stood and cheared the Bet Shean players.It was undoubtably one of the most exciting events in the Israeli football history.
There are many reasons for the club's popularity.The main one is probably the exciting style of football that the team plays-short passes,attacking and alot of goals.Another reason is the order and quiet of the club.In recent years,since Yaakov Shachar took over the club,Maccabi Haifa became the first "european" club in Israel.Shachar and the manager Shipgel brought new patterns to the Israeli football-professionalism and hard work. This was a refreshing change in comparison to the amateurish managing style of the other clubs.
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