Elisha Levy takes charge of Israel

"He is an experienced coach with ability and mental strength," said Israel Football Association chairman Ofer Eini, confirming Elisha Levy as Israel boss.

New Israel coach Elisha Levy
New Israel coach Elisha Levy ©Getty Images

Elisha Levy will coach Israel for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, the 58-year-old taking over following the departure of Eli Gutman.

"This is a demanding and challenging role that I'm taking on," Levy said. "I always said having this job is one of my longest-held desires and getting it is a dream come true – something I wanted from my first day as a young coach. I have known happy days and sad ones in football but this is the pinnacle for me and I wouldn't change a thing."

Once captain of Maccabi Haifa, Jerusalem-born Levy has been in charge of a number of local club sides since hanging up his boots in 1989, most notably Maccabi Haifa, who he led to two domestic titles and on to the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Israel Football Association (IFA) chairman Ofer Eini said: "We decided that Levy is the best man for the job. He is an experienced coach with ability and mental strength." That strength will tested as Israel have been pooled with Spain and Italy as well as Albania, FYR Macedonia and Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying Group G.