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Haim Revivo

Haim Revivo
Complete Name: Haim Michael Revivo
Nationality: Israeli
Place of Birth: Ashdod, Israel
Date of Birth: 22/02/1972
National Team: Israel- A, U17
Current club: Retired
Position: Right Midfielder,Attacking Midfielder

Haim Revivo Career


Haim Revivo Honours


Haim Revivo Pictures

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On December 8th, 1988, I first had a date with a girl. Exactly 10 years later, on December 8th, 1998, I got demobilized from the army, with a whole new life starting for me, and an eventual working contract in Germany where I could finally live with my girlfriend, later to become my wonderful wife. 2 meaningful dates in my personal life. How does Soccer come into the equation, you would probably ask? Well, in the evening of that Tuesday in December 1998, I watched the unforgettable game of 1/8 finals in the UEFA Cup, between Liverpool and Celta Vigo in Anfield, the game that added another dimension to the meaning of the magic existing for me in December 8th.

That day, Haim Revivo returned to the pitch after a long injury; without him, his team surprisingly eliminated Aston Villa, and clinched a 3:1 home victory against Liverpool in the first leg. The Reds had to win with a margin of at least 2 goals at home, but in the light of their form and the form of the surprising Spanish Cinderella from Galicia, this mission seemed to become impossible. And indeed, Richard Dutruel had to show his skill only once, parrying the bomb of Michael Owen; on the other hand, his counterpart David James was busy stopping the efforts of Karpine, Mostovoi, Penev...

Let's be frank, overall Revivo didn't sparkle in this game - he was still recovering from an injury, he had to be substituted after 70 minutes of play, and he left most of the stage to the virtuosity of Valeriy Karpine, Alexander Mostovoi and Michel Salgado. But there was one minute, the 57th, the eruption of talent, the astonishing moment, the thing that counts, the winner in the game which Celta wasn't obliged to win. Claude Makelele saw the free space at the left wing, and sent Revivo there with a great pass. Revivo reached the ball 20 meters after the midline, and started his sprint of 20 meters. But that was just the start. He got to the edge of the box, cut to the right with his left foot, leaving Jim Carragher behind, then passed Phil Babb, adjusted the ball with his right, and again with his right bombed it diagonally from 14 meters between the 2 defenders and the desperately diving David James. The stadium gasped for breath, watching the referee pointing to the center and Revivo raising his T-shirt in triumph, showing the world a picture of his little son on the T-shirt underneath. The goal was shown as a movie on CNN Sports site, and became "The Goal Of The Month" in the world. An additional glory was brought, however indirectly, to the Israeli Soccer - and as it happened very- very often, the responsible for this was no other than Haim Revivo.

Haim Revivo was born in Ashdod, in February 1972. Naturally, he made his first steps in his native stadium in Ashdod, one of the best stadia all over the country. The teams in Ashdod, however, were then far from being spoken about or taken into any consideration, and so the talented youngster aspired to find the good team to start his career in.

He was lucky - after a Championship of 1989-90, Bnei-Yehuda finished just the 10th in 1990-91, and its manager Giora Spiegel understood some new, young and talented players had to be bought, altogether with the experienced ones to inspire the confidence. The skill of Revivo captured Spiegel's eye, and the player was bought by the Oranges.

Revivo's career would never be as flourishing hadn't it been for Bnei-Yehuda. A thinking and clever coach is very important for the beginners, and Giora Spiegel with his calm manners and a great playing experience, both Israeli and European, was the one. Besides, Revivo's purchase was accompanied by buying the young Alon Mizrahi from Hapoel Tel-Aviv and the experienced Niko Kudritskiy (of blessed memory) from Dnepr Dnepropetrovsk, then still the USSR. The three, after a certain period of acclimatization and getting familiar with each other, started to be a lethal force. The best attacking trio ever seen in Israel had Mizrahi near the goal, Revivo as an attacking midfielder and Kudritskiy bridging between them, both scoring and making goal passes. People came from Europe to see the miracles the three performed.

In the season of 1991-92 the three were the best and maybe the only valuable players of Bnei-Yehuda, and it still was enough to take the Vice-Championship after a very long and stubborn fight against Maccabee Tel-Aviv for the title. But the golden time of the three came during the season of 1992-93 - the team finished the 3rd, after Beitar Jerusalem and Maccabee Tel-Aviv, but scored 66 goals, 53 of those (!) scored by its unstoppable trio of attackers. Mizrahi was "The Best Israeli Scorer" with 26 goals, Kudritskiy finished with 17 goals as "The 2nd Best Israeli Scorer"; but those wouldn't be scored without the numerous assists of Revivo, who in addition scored 10 times himself.

This season, we saw from Revivo the sparkles of true geniosity. In the situation of 3:3 in Kiryat-Eliezer, 5 minutes from time, Revivo took the responsibility to pass 3 defenders and to roll the winner past Victor Chanov, mission close to impossible at that time. The story of the Championship was factually over after Bnei-Yehuda's victory over Maccabee Tel-Aviv in Ramat-Gan, 3:2; Revivo made a goal pass to Alon Mizrahi and then scored himself, getting the ball into the box from Kudritskiy and making a move to let Uvarov sit down and bouncing the ball centimeters over the keeper's stretched hands, a magnificent effort no one ever tried to perform against the former National keeper of the USSR. But most of all, I remember the effort of Revivo against Beitar Tel-Aviv - Kudritskiy made a pass to Revivo 25 meters diagonally from the net, at half a height, and the latter shot a left-foot volley to the right high corner; had not it been for an incredible flight of Bonnie Ginzburg to parry the ball to a corner, we would've seen "The Goal Of The Year".

In the season of 1993-94, it was the end of the trio story in Bnei-Yehuda. Mizrahi went to Maccabee Haifa, Revivo left for Hapoel Tel-Aviv, and Niko stayed to save Bnei-Yehuda from relegation; he succeeded in this, but lost his life in a tragic traffic accident near Raananna. Nevertheless, his 2 pupils and partners continued to show their tremendous skills. Mizrahi had a wonderful part in Maccabee Haifa's golden season, scoring 28 goals ("The Best Israeli Scorer", for the 3rd consecutive year) and beating Parma away in the Cup Winners' Cup. And Revivo was the man to bring Hapoel Tel-Aviv singlefootedly the 5th place and the Cup final; he scored 10 goals, one of them, the away winner against Maccabee Netanya, to be remembered for long after being performed Negrete-styled. In "The Best 11 Of The Season", Revivo was the only player not from Maccabee Haifa to be included. And here started his tremendously fast rise to the glory.

Alon Mizrahi left Maccabee Haifa, and the name of Revivo naturally appeared in the list of potential substitutes to the talented forward. Revivo put on the green shirt and showed his leadership during the very first game of his, against Casino Zalzburg in the Champions' League. After a nervous summer of changing the clubs, Revivo was able to play for just 80 minutes against the stubborn rival, but scored from a penalty kick, performed one great deed to be denied by the keeper and dominated on the field; during the ten last minutes without Revivo and Oleg Kuznetsov, Haifa conceded 2 goals and painfully lost at home, 1:2.

The season of 1994-95 became the season of Revivo, "The Best Israeli Player" and "The Best Israeli Scorer" altogether with Amir Turgeman. He scored 17 goals in the season of 30 games and made numerous goal passes, and he was the force to lead Maccabee Haifa in its mediocre season to win the Vice-Championship, falling behind Maccabee Tel-Aviv just in the last week. "The Game Of Revivo" was the one against Maccabee Ironi Ashdod away (6:1), where he scored twice and made 3 (!) goal passes in addition; but the best moment was his goal against Maccabee Tel-Aviv, a volley bomb at half a height to pass 30 meters from his left foot to the left corner of Uvarov. Slipping the Championship, Maccabee Haifa took the Cup. The team was close to panic, trailing 0:2 at home to the Country League's Hapoel Kefar-Saba just 10 minutes from the start; however, Revivo earned 2 penalties, both converted by Kandaurov, and then registered a terrific solo penetration that resulted in a winner, in the stage of the quarterfinals. He opened the semifinals with a terrific bomb under the bar of Giora Antman after just 3 minutes of play, and it ended 2:0 to Maccabee over Beitar Jerusalem.

The season of 1994-95 has started altogether with the EC'96 preliminaries, and already then there was no doubt Revivo should be included into the National team for those important official games. The goal pass of him enabled Ronen Harazi to score the 2nd goal against Poland and to bring the world another sensation - 2:1 to Israel! Then, Revivo's free kick from the left wing landed on Ronen Harazi's head on its way to the Israeli victory over Azerbaijan, 2:0. In the following game against Romania, Revivo was active and constantly threatened the goal of Stelea; it ended 1:1. Then, Ronen Harazi returned a great assist to Revivo, but the latter failed to beat the excellent Bernard Lama; still, Revivo made an important part of defensive work against the French pressure to leave France with a bitter taste of another game against Israel without a victory, just 0:0. Finally, a great lob of Revivo over Joseph Wandzyk in one-to-one gave Israel a temporary lead in Poland, 2:1, but the game ended with 4:3 to the hosts.

The season of 1995-96 started for Revivo and the Greens with a bad European disappointment, and though Revivo scored in Faroe Islands a direct corner kick, his team lost there 2:3 to Klaaksvikkaar, still passing to the next round on aggregate (after a 4:0 in the first game), but experiencing the humiliation against Sporting Lisbon later on. However, in the League Revivo was just perfect, with 26 goals and the title of "The Best Israeli Scorer" for the 2nd consecutive season. Despite the great form of Revivo, Maccabee Haifa was again the 2nd, losing the Championship again to its most hated rivals, Maccabee Tel-Aviv. Tel-Aviv's keeper, Alexander Uvarov, defeated Revivo in a close fight for "The Best Player of 1995-96" award.

Revivo scored a fantastic goal against Hapoel Beer-Sheva, turning for 120 degrees to meet with his left-foot volley killer the preparation of Moshe Glam. His 2 goals against Hapoel Beit-Shean and the last effort of the 3 against Beitar Tel-Aviv will be remembered for long, as his tremendous free kicks vs Rishon le-Zion and the same Beitar Tel-Aviv. And his two bicycle kicks to hit the bars of Maccabee Tel-Aviv and Hapoel Tsafririm Holon will also be recalled for a long time.

Not only the Israeli keepers suffered from Revivo, but also Edvin van der Sar, the keeper of Ajax, while playing in a friendly game against Maccabee Haifa here, in Kiryat-Eliezer. Real Madrid, Milan and Gremio failed to do in 570 aggregate minutes (!) what Revivo did just in 3. Getting a ball from Berkovich, he approached van der Sar, lay the keeper down, rolled the ball past him and then rolled it into an empty net. The fans amongst you, seeing the wonderful temporary equalizer of Davor Suker against Germany in Euro'96 - that effort of Revivo was similar, very similar. That was the first goal of Revivo, out of 3 in his personal history, that made the top headlines in CNN Sports. He was the best on the pitch, and Maccabee Haifa eventually won 2:1, from the last-minute strike of Haim Silbas.

The Israeli League became too small for the talent of Haim Revivo, and in July 1996 he went to play abroad. The first rumours were about Grasshoppers, the Swiss superpower from Zurich, but Revivo finally landed in Celta Vigo, a very modest club in the Spanish Primera. By then, the club's main objective was to stay in the League, and its history showed no titles at all, and just one participation in the UEFA Cup, back in 1972.

The first season was indeed full of hardships, and the team managed to stay in the Senior League of Spain only in the last game, defeating the indifferent Real Madrid 4:0 at home. For the Israeli legionary, it was a normal season of acclimatization, with 5 scored goals and several important goal passes. But, unlike Eyal Berkovich in his troubled career in England and Scotland, Revivo knew how to accept the temporary troubles. He learnt Spanish, he got well accepted by the team members and the coach Javier Irureta, he never missed a chance to praise the place and the team in the interviews. And this love became two-sided.

In 1997-98, the Russian International Valeriy Karpine joined Celta from Valencia, and his landsake Alexander Mostovoi came from Strasbourg; in addition, Celta enjoyed the crazy skill of Richard Dutruel in its net, the jet force of Michel Salgado on the right wing, the scoring might of Juan Sanchez and the Bulgarian International Lubo Penev, the stable defensive line led by the World Champion Mazinho from Brazil... All those brought Celta to glory, and the Israeli fans started following loyally after Celta's games. A joke was born: "Loving Celta is easy, it's just another Israeli team. A crazy keeper, a black defender, lots of Sephardis (a game of words, since "Spharadi" in Hebrew may mean "Spanish", as well as "belonging to the Oriental Jewry". - M.M.), two Russian midfielders, and a player from Ashdod".

But if you ask any sportive commentator about the main reasons of Celta's ascent to the top, he will name you 3 people above the rest - Revivo, Karpine, Mostovoi. The modest Israeli player combined well with the 2 aging Russian stars past their peak, and together they made a lethal midfield force, one of the best in the best League in the world. Mostovoi was acting as a playmaker, and Revivo and Karpine supported him on left and right wings, respectively, sometimes cutting towards the center; add to this the threatening front line and the frequent penetrations of the attacking defender Michel Salgado, and you will get the attractivity of Celta that was surprising, and altogether with that logical. 7 goals of Revivo in this season were added by numerous goal passes as well, and the productivity of each Russian was similar. Celta caught the 6th place and the UEFA Cup berth, and Revivo's left foot was considered the most lethal in the League after the great Rivaldo's.

Participating in the UEFA Cup for just the 2nd time in history, Celta registered victory after victory. Passing the weak Romanian team Arges Pitesti with 1:0 away (a goal pass by Revivo) and 7:0 at home, Celta lost at home 0:1 to Aston Villa - but then, against all odds, registered a smashing 3:1 victory in Birmingham. Conceding a goal from Michael Owen at home, Celta had Mostovoi, Karpine and Vladimir Gudelj responding in style to expose the horrors of Liverpool's defence; the masterpiece of Revivo finished the story in Anfield. By then, Celta was seriously counted as the possible UEFA Cup winner. Unfortunately, in the quarterfinals it met Marseille. Losing the decent 1:2 loss in France (a goal pass of Revivo to Mostovoi), Celta was suddenly unable to excel at home - just a 0:0, and an unfortunate exit. Unfortunate in the light of the wonderful form of the team, and not the pre-season expectations.

In parallel with this, Celta had the most wonderful season in its history in the Spanish League, overshadowing even the great season it had before. The unfortunate 2 losses in the last games, to Mallorca and Atletico Madrid, sent Celta down to the 5th place and denied its sensational participation in the Champions League, confining the team to "just" the UEFA Cup berth - and still, the disappointment came in the light of the achievements and the style, and not of the preliminary expectations. With his 9 goals and at least as many goal passes, Revivo made it to the symbolic "Team Of The Season", and he was chosen by Celta fans as the best player of the team, even despite the magnificent performances given by both Karpine and Mostovoi. 3 reasons can be mentioned here - the tremendous popularity of Revivo in the team (he was even elected the team captain) and the town itself, the fact that he suffered from an injury and brilliantly recovered, and also the fact that many of his goal and goal passes proved decisive. He defeated La Coruna and Tenerife, Villareal and Racing Santander, helped to defeat Valladolid and was instrumental in taking points from Barcelona and Real Madrid. His tremendous free kick became a winner against Oviedo, and later on just a breathtaking save of the Colombian International Farid Mondragon prevented a sparkling volley from becoming yet another goal. The great top game against Mallorca, which led twice, was perhaps the best ever game of Karpine, who twice blasted the equalizers in, made a goal pass to the header of Djurovic and then was knocked down in an injury time, 25 meters from the net; but then, it was Revivo with a stylish free kick that beat the Argentinian International Carlos Roa and sealed the victory for Celta, bringing it temporarily to the 1st place. And the examples are still numerous...

This was also a golden time of Haim Revivo in the National team, and despite the rare skill of just all the players, it was mostly our man in Spain who brought Israel to the playoffs for Euro'2000. His pass to Mizrahi in Vienna sent the forward to the box to be sent down, and Avi Nimni scored a superimportant equalizer, 1:1. Revivo's goal and 2 goal passes in San-Marino let Israel clinch an easy 5:0 victory over the pastoral rival, and his goal pass of a rare genius to Alon Hazan made Ramat-Gan erupt with an opener against Spain; it was just unfortunate that the 2 mistakes of Rafi Cohen spoiled the mood later on. Playing injured, he set up 2 goals against Cyprus at home, 3:0, and even in the humiliation of 2:3 in Cyprus, he was the only player to play in style and settled both goals. His magnificent free kick in the injury time of the 1st half, a goal pass to Berkovich early in the 2nd half and participating in a scoring combination of Berkovich and Grayib 15 minutes from the end made the impossible; Israel defeated Austria 5:0 at home in perhaps its best game ever, and I had a pleasure of being at the stadium and watching it live. Against San-Marino in September 1999, Haim scored twice and made 2 goal passes. And even in Spain, where Israel lost 0:3 (quite an achievement in itself, after the Cypriote loss of 0:8 there, as well as the humiliations of 0:9 for both San-Marino and Austria), Revivo was the best in his team and created numerous chances.

In between, there was also a friendly against Argentina before the World Cup, in April 1998. It became a great tradition that the white-and-blue of Argentina come to Israel to meet the local blue-and-white before every World Cup. And the results became also traditional - led by Maradona, Caniggia or Batistuta, the South American power always won, the only subject was the margin. But no more! Revivo earned a penalty that Alon Mizrahi sent to the bar, and then saw the great combination of Eyal Berkovich and Najouan Grayib which opened the score; even so, Israel stayed in 10 men after an unjustified red card shown to Yosi Abuksis, and then the guests equalized through the header of Diego Cagna. When the Argentinian pressure grew and the South American winner seemed inevitable, Revivo provided us with another touch of genius, the 2nd goal of his that earned the headlights of CNN. Israel earned a free kick near the Hagi Point, some 25 meters from the net and very close to the left out-line of the field. The small wall has been built, as the Argentinians and the Israelis alike waited for the goal pass into the box. Revivo, however, thought otherwise and curved the ball past the wall to the close corner of German Burgos who was too stunned to move. 2:1 to Israel.

If a black point should be found in Revivo's biography, this was definitely the season of 1999-2000. And of course, it started with the infamous play-offs against Denmark. In a state of 0:2 at home after the first half, Revivo made a redundant unsportive foul on Martin Joergensen, and the English referee David Elleray showed him the red card. The team was broken in this particular moment, but perhaps, the action of Revivo just underlined the state of confusion the team was in. 0:5 at home at the end, 0:3 in Denmark, a scandal of call girls, a change of coach (the retirement of Shlomo Sherf and the arrival of Richard Moeller-Nielsen), and so on and so forth - all those finished in an awful note what could be the best ever achievement of the National team. But, watching a pitiful performance of the Danes in Euro'00, against France, Holland and Czech Republic, one couldn't help thanking the Danes for taking the place of Israel, saving our guys from probably even worse humiliations.

In fact, the bad form of all the team was a direct result of a bad form of its legionaries, and mostly of Eyal Berkovich and Haim Revivo. Revivo could hardly find his place in the 11 of Victor Fernandez anymore, argued with the coach, and scored only 2 goals in the League. The only positive things happened to Revivo again in the UEFA Cup. Being surprisingly down 0:3 in Lausanne, Celta sprung to life after an impossible goal of Revivo from an angle of 0, with Valeriy Karpine reducing the score even more after Revivo's goal pass, 2:3; and the goal pass of Revivo to Benny McCarthy in the 2nd leg started the feast of Celta, 4:0. Bypassing Aris Saloniki later on, 2:2 away and 2:0 home, Celta humiliated the two European superpowers, first Benfica Lisbon (7:0 home, 1:1 away) and then Juventus Turin (0:1 away, 4:0 home). But then, again in the stage of the quarterfinals, Celta met again the fatal French team, this time Lens. The surprise of the Cup, the modest French club passed by then Maccabee Tel-Aviv (and its player David Revivo, the younger brother of Haim), Vitesse Arnhem, Kaiserslautern and Atletico Madrid, and held Celta to a nil draw in Vigo. In the 2nd leg in France, Revivo opened the score with a brilliantly taken free kick, but the hosts replied quickly with 2 goals and eliminated the Spaniards again.

The talks of Revivo's leave by the end of the season were loud, and the speculations about the possible destination teams were numerous. The coach Louis Van Gaal was thrown from Barcelona, and Revivo lost hopes of ending in the Catalan superclub; Aston Villa, Fiorentina and AS Roma also didn't present any concrete deal. Finally, Revivo moved to the Turkish Fenerbahce, coached by Mustafa Denizli after he retired from the National team in the peak of its achievements (Euro'2000 1/4 finals). Denizli openly expressed the wish to build the whole team around Revivo, and vowed to give the Israeli player his first Championship title.

The season of 2000-01 has just started, and Haim Revivo starts a new era of his career in Fenerbahce; according to the starting games of the season, he's going to become a superstar of the Turkish League, the title which he seems to be used to. The National team, under the new coach, the Danish Euro'1992 winner Richard Moeller-Nielsen, starts its WC'2002 preliminary round, with hopes to the first WC participation after 1970. We all keep the fingers crossed to Haim Revivo, the best Israeli player of the last decade, if not of all times.

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