Eran Zahavi

Eran Zahavi

Zahavi celebrating after scoring against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Tel Aviv derby in March 2014
Personal information
Date of birth (1987-07-25) 25 July 1987
Place of birth Rishon LeZion, Israel
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Guangzhou R&F
Number 25
Youth career
1993–2003 Hapoel Tel Aviv
2003–2005 Ironi Rishon LeZion
2005–2006 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2011 Hapoel Tel Aviv 87 (27)
2007–2008Ironi Ramat HaSharon 45 (10)
2011–2013 Palermo 23 (2)
2013–2016 Maccabi Tel Aviv 120 (99)
2016– Guangzhou R&F 15 (11)
National team
2008 Israel U21 1 (0)
2010– Israel 32 (6)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 October 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 November 2016

Eran Zahavi (or Eran Zehavi, Hebrew: ערן זהבי; born 25 July 1987) is an Israeli professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Guangzhou R&F and the Israel national team.

Zahavi was named the Israeli Footballer of the Year twice (2013 and 2014) and finished as the top goalscorer in the Israeli Premier League in 2013–14 (29 goals, all-time club record) and in 2015–16 (35 goals, all-time league record) . In December 2014, Zahavi broke the Israeli Premier League record for scoring in consecutive appearances after he scored for an 18th game in a row. He has been a senior international since 2010, earning over 30 caps.


Eran Zahavi was born in Rishon Lezion.[1][2] Zahavi started his youth career with Hapoel Tel Aviv. At the age of 16 he went to Ironi Rishon LeZion, in his hometown. Two years later, in 2005 he returned to Hapoel, he managed to get to the state cup final with his team but lost to Beitar Jerusalem F.C. after a penalty shootout, he scored the equalizer that led to extra time.


Hapoel Tel Aviv

Zahavi before the match with Hapoel Tel Aviv 2010

A Hapoel Tel Aviv youth product, he was promoted into the first team in 2006 and won the Israel State Cup and the championship title after a dramatic match against the fierce rival Beitar Jerusalem in which Zahavi scored at the 92nd minute of extra time. Zahavi was reported to have garnered interest from clubs in Belgium during the 2009–10 season. Zahavi has a French passport which would mean that he would not count as a foreigner in many European leagues.[3]

In the 2010–11 season Zahavi became the top assister of the Israeli Premier League, providing 13 assists during the season.[4]


It was reported that Zahavi signed a five-year deal with the Italian Serie A club, Palermo.[5]

Maccabi Tel Aviv

Zahavi celebrating a goal for Maccabi.

In December 2012, towards the winter transfers window opening, Zahavi showed signs of returning to Israel.[6] Following an agreement made by Palermo and Maccabi Tel Aviv, his former club Hapoel Tel Aviv was given 7 days to make a bid on him due to a first-option clause in his contract,[7] but it was not exploited. On 21 January 2013, after over a month of speculations in the media, Maccabi Tel Aviv announced his arrival, signing him on a three-and-a-half year contract[8] for €250,000.[9]

In a Tel Aviv derby on 3 November 2014, Zahavi scored a penalty to equalise the score at 1–1 in the first half, but was then attacked by a pitch invader. On retaliating, he was sent off, prompting more pitch invasions which led to the match being abandoned.[10]

In the beginning of the season, Zahavi was appointed as Maccabi's new captain after former captain Sheran Yeini signed at Dutch football club Vitesse Arnhem.

On 5 August 2015, Zahavi scored two goals against Czech team Viktoria Plzeň in a 2–0 away victory on the second leg of the third qualifying round after Maccabi lost at home 2–1.

On 19 August 2015, Zahavi scored a brace, including a 96th-minute equaliser, in a 2–2 draw against Swiss side FC Basel at St. Jakob-Park in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs.[11] On 25 August, the second leg at Bloomfield, he scored a 24th-minute equaliser and the match ended 1–1, a result that sent Maccabi to the Champions League group stage due to the away goals rule.[12] Zahavi finished the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League qualifying phase and play-off round as the top goalscorer with 7 goals in 5 games.[13] During the season Zahavi scored 35 league goals, in 36 league games, and set a new Israeli record for league goals in single season. the previous record was set by the striker Nissim Elmaliach who scored 30 goals in 26 league games at 1954–55 season.

Guangzhou R&F

On June 29, Zahavi joined Guangzhou R&F of the Chinese Football League. The transfer deal will pay Zahavi $12.5 million over 2.5 years.[14] On July 2, Zahavi made his debut coming on from the bench at the 60th minute playing against Shijiazhuang Ever Bright with the score a 1–1 draw. 15 minutes later he scored his first goal and later on added an assist to lead his team to a 4–2 victory.

On July 13, Zahavi scored a hat-trick in 19 minutes in the Chinese FA Cup match against Hebei China Fortune coming on from the bench at the second period assuring a 3–0 win.[15]

On October 18, during a league match against Hangzhou Greentown, Zahavi netted his second hat trick in an R&F jersey, propelling his team to a 5-2 victory over Hangzhou. He found the net in the 33rd, 55th and 67th minutes of the match. Those goals gave him 16 goals in as many games for FuLi, across all competitions, .


Zahavi made his international debut on 2 September 2010 against Malta in Ramat Gan Stadium, in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match. He scored his first goal for the national team on 10 September 2013 against Russia.[16] On 2 June 2014, he scored his second goal in a friendly match against Honduras.[17]

Style of play

Zahavi started his professional career as a central midfielder, helping both defensive and offensive sides. After moving to Maccabi Tel Aviv, guided at the time by coach Óscar García, Zahavi took the role of an attacking midfielder. In the 2013/14 season, coached by Paolo Sousa, Zahavi became a "False 9 Striker", where he shined as a top goal scorer. Zahavi is known for his movement off the ball and position. He is also well known for his finishing ability and one-touch capabilities. As he decided many games with final-minutes goals, Zahavi is considered by many as a cold-blooded player and the greatest winner of the Israeli football.

Career Statistics


As of 30 October 2016
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Hapoel Tel Aviv 2006–07 00002020
2007–08 00000000
2008–09 2670054003111
2009–10 29115000003411
2010–11 32932421044917
Total 8727829610411439
Ironi Ramat HaSharon (loan) 2006–07 14200142
2007–08 31700317
Total 45900459
Palermo 2011–12 20200000000202
2012–13 300000000030
Total 23200000000232
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2012–13 167210000188
2013–14 342910114004633
2014–15 3428554162004936
2015–16 36356310118125548
Total 1209914951281412168125
Guangzhou R&F 2016 15114600001917
Total 1511460000001917
Career total 29514324115167381812364184

International goals

As of match played 12 November 2016. Israel score listed first, score column indicates score after each Zahavi goal.[18]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 10 September 2013Petrovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia15 Russia1–31–32014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 1 June 2014BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, United States20 Honduras1–04–2Friendly
3 16 November 2014Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel23 Bosnia and Herzegovina3–03–0UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
4 3 September 2015Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel27 Andorra1–04–0UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
5 31 May 2016Karađorđe Stadium, Novi Sad, Serbia31 Serbia1–11–3Friendly
6 12 November 2016Elbasan Arena, Elbasan, Albania32 Albania1–03–02018 FIFA World Cup qualification



Hapoel Tel Aviv[19]
Maccabi Tel Aviv[19]



See also


  1. "Israeli Sports", Jewish Sports Review, Vol. 9, No. 11, Issue 107, p. 21, January/February 2015.
  2. "Eran Zahavi". Yahoo Eurosport UK.
  3. Gladstone, Roy (11 February 2010). קבוצה בכירה מהליגה הבלגית הציעה חוזה לערן זהבי [A Leading Club From The Belgian League Offers Contract To Eran Zahavi] (in Hebrew). One. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  4. 2010/11 IPL top assisters on (Hebrew)
  5. "Palermo is strengthen, here is the initial balance". US Città di Palermo (in Italian). 9 August 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  6. Eran Zahavi claims return to Israel, nrg, 14 December 2012
  7. Palermo: Hapoel Tel Aviv got a first-option on Eran Zahavi, ynet, 2 January 2013
  8. "Zahavi agrees 3.5 years deal". Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  9. Eran Zahavi moves to Maccabi Tel Aviv, walla!, 21 January 2013
  10. "Tel Aviv derby abandoned after player and fan clash". BBC Sport. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  11. "Zahavi header ensures Maccabi deny Basel". UEFA. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  12. "Zahavi strike ensures Maccabi edge out Basel". UEFA. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  13. Israeli soccer star Eran Zahavi completes record transfer to Chinese club
  14. "לא עוצר: ערן זהבי נכנס כמחליף וכבש שלושער לזכות גוואנגז'ו R&F [Doesn't stop: Eran Zahavi came on as a substitute and scored a hat-trick for Guangzhou R&F]" (in Hebrew). Walla!. 13 July 2016.
  15. Sinai, Allon (11 September 2013). "Downtrodden Israel decisively defeated". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  16. "Honduras struggle again in 4–2 loss to Israel". Yahoo! Sports. Reuters. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  17. Eran Zahavi profile at Soccerway
  18. 1 2 Eran Zahavi profile at Soccerway
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eran Zahavi.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sheran Yeini
Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. captain
Succeeded by
Gal Alberman
Preceded by
Tal Ben Haim
Israel national football team captain
Succeeded by
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