Israel is yet another country that has had a turbulent past but that has not dampened their spirit when it comes to sports. Sport is an integral part of the Israeli culture and they engage in a very wide range of sports but soccer is widely recognized as their most popular sport with basketball as close second.
Israel has hosted the 1964 AFC Asian Cup and their national team also qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Some of the most notable names in Israeli football include Ryan Adeleye, Ben Sahar, Yaniv Katan and Eli Ohana who is widely considered as one of greatest Israeli football player of all time.
Israeli basketball is also very successful with the domestic league being dominated by two teams, Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Tel Aviv, which are also considered as one of the top teams in Europe. Hapoel Jerusalem won the Eurocup in 2004 while the Maccabi Tel Aviv is a six-time European Champion (1977, 1981, 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2014).
There are also a number of Israeli basketball players who made it to the American NBA. Omri Casspi plays for the Houston Rockets and the 6'3” point guard Gall Mekel wears a Dallas Maverick jersey. Other notable Israeli players include Lior Eliyahu, David Blu, Yotam Halperin and Amit Tamir.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Israel. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Popular sports of Israel (see more)
- Football (Soccer), basketball
Traditional sports of Israel
- Matkot — a paddle sport from Israel which is very similar to beach tennis.
- Catchball — a easier version of volleyball in which the players catch and throw the ball rather than hit it.
- Krav Maga — a military system developed in Israel known for its focus on real-world situations and its extreme efficiency.
Israel Sporting Success
- Gal Fridman is Israel's first Olympic gold medalist, in windsurfing at the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Great athletes from Israel
- Linoy Ashram (gymnastics)
- Gal Fridman (windsurfing)
- Anna Smashnova (tennis)
Israel Sports trivia
- The first Maccabiah Games event was held in 1932 in Tel Aviv
Israel at major events
- Israel at the Summer Olympics
- Israel at the Winter Olympics
- Israel at the FIFA World Cup
- Israel at the AFC Asian Cup
Past sporting events hosted in Israel
- 1964 AFC Asian Cup
- 1968 Paralympic Games in Tel Aviv
Upcoming sporting events in Israel
Annual sporting events held in Israel
- Maccabiah Games — the 'Jewish Games', held in Israel every four years
Sporting Facilities in Israel
- Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem
- Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv