Israel’s Captain on the Field

The Fellowship  |  December 27, 2019

Mordechai Spiegler, Israeli soccer player
(Photo: Moshe Pridan/GPO)

Born in Russia to a Jewish family, Mordechai “Motaleh” Spiegler made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) as a boy. And it was for Israel that he would make his name on the soccer field.

While Spiegler played soccer for such famed international teams as Paris Saint-Germain and the New York Cosmos (on which he teamed with all-time soccer legend, Pele), one goal he scored for Israel sets him apart.

The captain of Israel’s national soccer team, Spiegler was captain when they competed at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. And two years later, he scored Israel’s only World Cup goal to date in a 1-1 tie against Sweden at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

Beyond that goal, Spiegler scored the most goals of any Israeli player. During his playing days, he was awarded for his prowess, winning the Israeli Player of the Year a record four times between 1967 and 1971. And today he is remembered as an Israeli we all should know.

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