The ambassadors: Nimni and Ohana
Monday, November 5, 2012
Avi Nimni and Eli Ohana are the ambassadors for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
Article top media content
Clubs: Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC, Club Atlético de Madrid, Derby County FC, Beitar Jerusalem FC
• Nimni joined Maccabi Tel-Aviv at the age of seven and ten years later he made his debut in the senior team.
• In 1998 the midfielder tried his luck abroad at Atlético, but he played just seven games in one season and returned to Maccabi.
• A year later he moved on loan to English Premier League side Derby County but again came home soon after following one goal in four appearances.
• By this time, Nimni was a regular in the national team, having made his debut in 1992. He won 80 caps, scoring 17 goals, and was made captain during the reign of Avram Grant.
• In 2003 he won a fourth championship in yellow and blue before immediately making his first move to another team in Israel, joining Beitar Jerusalem.
• He finished his career back at Maccabi, becoming the club's all-time top marksman with 174 goals, while he is third in the list of leading goalscorers in Israeli football with a total of 194.
• In 2008, only a few months after his retirement as a player, Nimni was appointed as Maccabi's head coach, leaving his post three years later after winning one League Cup.
Clubs: Beitar Jerusalem FC, KV Mechelen, SC Braga
UEFA Cup Winners: 1988
UEFA Super Cup: 1988
• As one of ten siblings Ohana was brought along to Beitar's youth system by his older brother, Yossi. By the age of 16 he was in the senior team who at that time played in the second division.
• Ohana move to Mechelen that summer and made a big impact in his first season, helping the Belgian club win the European Cup Winners' Cup. He scored in the first leg of the semi-final against Atalanta BC and set up the only goal of the final for Piet den Boer against AFC Ajax.
• Ohana was also part of Mechelen's UEFA Super Cup triumph against PSV Eindhoven and the club's Belgium championship success in 1989 before moving Braga.
• He made 25 league appearances in Portugal but then returned to Beitar who had been relegated while he was abroad.
• Beitar soon returned to the top flight with Ohana, who had become a hero for the fans even before the club won three more championship in 1993, 1997 and 1998.
• Ohana made his Israel debut in 1984, going on to play 51 games for the national team and scoring 17 goals.
• He started his coaching career in 1999 at Beitar, going on to lead several Israeli clubs and since 2008 has been in charge of the national Under-19 side.