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Eran Zahavi
EranZeahviCelebrating.jpg
Zahavi celebrating a goal for Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Tel Aviv derby in 2014
Personal information
Full name Eran Zahavi
Date of birth 25 July 1987 (1987-07-25) (age 34)
Place of birth Rishon LeZion, Israel
Height 1.82 m
Playing position Attacking midfielder, striker
Club information
Current club PSV Eindhoven
Number 7
Youth career
1993–2003 Hapoel Tel Aviv
2003–2005 Ironi Rishon LeZion
2005–2006 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2011 Hapoel Tel Aviv 94 (27)
2007–2008 → Ironi Ramat HaSharon (loan) 45 (9)
2011–2013 Palermo 23 (2)
2013–2016 Maccabi Tel Aviv 119 (98)
2016–2020 Guangzhou R&F 106 (91)
2020– PSV Eindhoven 25 (11)
National team
2008 Israel U21 1 (0)
2010– Israel 64 (26)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 May 2021.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 9 June 2021

Eran Zahavi (or Zehavi, Hebrew: ערן זהבי; born 25 July 1987) is an Israeli professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or as a striker for PSV Eindhoven and the Israel national team.

Zahavi has been named Israeli Footballer of the Year twice (2013 and 2014), and finished as the top goalscorer of the Israeli Premier League for three consecutive seasons, in 2013–14 (29 goals), 2014–15 (27 goals) and 2015–16 (35 goals, all-time league record). In December 2014, Zahavi broke the Israeli Premier League record for scoring in consecutive appearances after he scored for the 18th game in a row. In 2016, he broke the Israeli league six-decade-old season scoring record, beating the 1954–55 record. He was named the 2017 Chinese Super League MVP, and broke the league's single-season scoring record in 2019. Zahavi has been a senior international since 2010, earning over 60 caps.

Early life

Eran Zahavi was born in Rishon LeZion, Israel, to Jewish parents. He has served in the Israel Defense Forces to complete his mandatory military service.

He also holds a French passport, on account of his French-born father.

Club career

Zahavi started his youth career with Hapoel Tel Aviv. At the age of 16 he went to Ironi Rishon LeZion, in his hometown. Two years later, in 2005 he returned to Hapoel. He managed to get to the state cup final with his team but lost to Beitar Jerusalem after a penalty shootout; he scored the equaliser that led to extra time.

Hapoel Tel Aviv

Zehavi2
Zahavi playing for Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2010

A Hapoel Tel Aviv youth product, Zahavi was promoted to its senior team in 2006, where he won the Israel State Cup, and the championship title after a dramatic match against the fierce rival Beitar Jerusalem in which he scored at the 92nd minute of extra time. Zahavi was reported to have garnered interest from clubs in Belgium during the 2009–10 season.

In the 2010–11 season Zahavi became the top assister of the Israeli Premier League, providing 13 assists during the season.

Palermo

Zahavi signed a five-year deal with the Italian Serie A club, Palermo, before the beginning of the 2011–12 Serie A season. He capped two seasons with 23 appearances in the top league in Italy, scoring two goals versus Bologna and Cagliari.

Maccabi Tel Aviv

Chelsea Vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv (21306136599)
Zahavi playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 2015–16 Champions League match versus Chelsea

In December 2012, towards the winter transfers window opening, Zahavi showed signs of returning to Israel. Following an agreement made by Palermo and Maccabi Tel Aviv, his former club Hapoel Tel Aviv was given seven days to make a bid on him due to a first-option clause in his contract, but it was not exploited. On 21 January 2013, after over a month of speculation in the media, Maccabi Tel Aviv announced his arrival, signing him on a three-and-a-half year contract for €250,000.

At the Tel Aviv derby on 3 November 2014, Zahavi scored a penalty to equalise the score at 1–1 in the first half but was then attacked by a pitch invader. On retaliating, he was sent off, prompting more pitch invasions which led to the match being abandoned.

In the beginning of the 2015–16 season, Zahavi was appointed as Maccabi's new captain after former captain Sheran Yeini signed at Dutch football club Vitesse. On 5 August 2015, Zahavi scored two goals against Czech team Viktoria Plzeň in a 2–0 away victory in the second leg of the third qualifying round after Maccabi lost at home 2–1. On 19 August 2015, Zahavi scored a brace, including a 96th-minute equaliser, in a 2–2 draw against Swiss side Basel at St. Jakob-Park in the first leg of the Champions League playoffs. On 25 August, during the second leg at Bloomfield, he scored a 24th-minute equaliser as the match ended 1–1, a result that sent Maccabi to the Champions League group stage due to the away goals rule. Zahavi finished the Champions League qualifying phase and play-off round as the top goalscorer with 7 goals in 5 games. During the season Zahavi scored 35 league goals, in 36 league games, and set a new Israeli record for league goals in single season. The previous record was set by the striker Nissim Elmaliach, who scored 30 goals in 26 league games during the 1954–55 season.

Guangzhou R&F

On 29 June 2016, Zahavi joined Guangzhou R&F of the Chinese Football League, making him the second Israeli player in China after Liron Zarko. The transfer deal paid Zahavi a reported $12.5 million over two-and-a-half years. On 2 July, Zahavi made his debut coming on from the bench at the 60th minute playing against Shijiazhuang Ever Bright with the score a 1–1 draw. 15 minutes later he scored his first goal, and later on he added an assist to lead his team to a 4–2 victory.

On 13 July, Zahavi scored a hat-trick in 19 minutes in the Chinese FA Cup match against Hebei China Fortune, coming on from the bench in the second half and helping R&F to a 3–0 win. On 18 October, during a league match against Hangzhou Greentown, Zahavi netted his second hat-trick in an R&F jersey, propelling them to a 5–2 victory. He found the net in the 33rd, 55th, and 67th minutes of the match. Those goals gave him 16 goals in as many games for R&F, across all competitions. These scoring exploits quickly earned him the nickname "the King of Yuexiushan".

Zahavi finished his first half season for Guangzhou R&F with six goals in four Chinese FA Cup games, and 11 league goals in 15 appearances. In December 2016, according to media reports, Chinese club Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C. offered $20 million for Zahavi, the highest transfer fee ever offered for an Israeli footballer. On 24 January 2017, Zahavi signed a renewed contract with Guangzhou R&F until the end of the 2020 season, for an estimated $7 million per season. On 23 July, in the league match against Yanbian Funde he scored four goals and Guangzhou won 6–2. Zahavi finished the 2017 season with 27 league goals (one short of the league record) to win the CSL Golden Boot Award. He was also named the Most Valuable Player in the Chinese Super League, and selected in the CSL team of the year.

After Shanghai Greenland Shenhua failed to sign Zahavi in September 2017 for a transfer fee of $25 million, Zahavi renewed his contract with Guangzhou R&F in February 2018 for an estimated $10 million per season on a three-year contract. On 2 March, during round 1 of the 2018 CSL season, Zahavi scored a hat-trick and assisted one goal in the 5–4 away win against reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.

In November 2019, Zahavi broke the CSL single-season scoring record after scoring his 29th goal of the season, surpassing the previous record set by Elkeson in 2014.

PSV Eindhoven

On 20 September 2020, Zahavi signed a two-year deal with PSV Eindhoven. He made his debut for the Dutch side on 1 October 2020 in the UEFA Europa League play-offs against Rosenborg, contributing to the win with a goal and an assist.

On 21 July 2021, Zahavi scored a hat-trick during PSV's 5–1 win against Turkish side Galatasaray, in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round match.

International career

Zahavi israel
Zahavi playing for Israel in the 2016 Euro qualifiers versus Andorra

Zahavi made his senior debut for Israel on 2 September 2010 against Malta in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers. He scored his first goal for the national team on 10 September 2013 against Russia in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

On 24 March 2019, he scored a hat-trick against Austria in a 4–2 home win, during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.

On 7 June 2019, Zahavi scored a back-to-back hat-trick against Latvia in a 3–0 away win, during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.

In the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League match against Slovakia, Zahavi scored three goals in the span of 20 minutes to bring Israel from 0–2 behind to a 3–2 win.

Personal life

On 9 May 2021, ahead of the Eredivisie match between PSV and Willem II, two armed robbers broke into Zahavi's house in Amsterdam, tying up his wife Shay (née Levy) and three children.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hapoel Tel Aviv 2006–07 Israeli Premier League 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
2008–09 Israeli Premier League 28 7 1 0 7 4 6 1 42 12
2009–10 Israeli Premier League 33 11 5 1 6 1 11 0 55 13
2010–11 Israeli Premier League 33 9 4 2 1 1 12 5 50 17
Total 94 27 10 3 16 6 29 6 149 42
Ironi Ramat HaSharon
(loan)
2006–07 Liga Leumit 17 2 1 0 18 2
2007–08 Liga Leumit 28 7 2 1 2 2 32 10
Total 45 9 3 1 2 2 50 12
Palermo 2011–12 Serie A 20 2 0 0 2 0 22 2
2012–13 Serie A 3 0 1 0 4 0
Total 23 2 1 0 2 0 26 2
Maccabi Tel Aviv 2012–13 Israeli Premier League 16 7 2 1 0 0 18 8
2013–14 Israeli Premier League 34 29 1 1 11 5 46 35
2014–15 Israeli Premier League 33 27 5 5 4 1 6 2 48 35
2015–16 Israeli Premier League 36 35 6 3 2 1 11 8 1 2 56 49
Total 119 98 14 10 6 2 28 15 1 2 168 127
Guangzhou R&F 2016 Chinese Super League 15 11 4 6 19 17
2017 Chinese Super League 30 27 4 4 34 31
2018 Chinese Super League 26 20 3 2 29 22
2019 Chinese Super League 28 29 0 0 28 29
2020 Chinese Super League 7 4 0 0 7 4
Total 106 91 11 12 117 103
PSV Eindhoven 2020–21 Eredivisie 25 11 2 0 6 6 33 17
2021–22 Eredivisie 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1 3
Total 25 11 2 0 7 9 0 0 34 20
Career total 412 238 41 26 24 10 66 30 1 2 544 306

International goals

Scores and results list Israel's goal tally first.
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 September 2013 Petrovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia 15  Russia 1–3 1–3 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. 1 June 2014 BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, United States 20  Honduras 1–0 4–2 Friendly
3. 16 November 2014 Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel 23  Bosnia and Herzegovina 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
4. 3 September 2015 27  Andorra 1–0 4–0
5. 31 May 2016 Karađorđe Stadium, Novi Sad, Serbia 31  Serbia 1–1 1–3 Friendly
6. 12 November 2016 Elbasan Arena, Elbasan, Albania 32  Albania 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 15 November 2018 Netanya Stadium, Netanya, Israel 41  Guatemala 1–0 7–0 Friendly
8. 20 November 2018 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 42  Scotland 2–3 2–3 2018–19 UEFA Nations League C
9. 21 March 2019 Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel 43  Slovenia 1–1 1–1 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
10. 24 March 2019 44  Austria 1–1 4–2
11. 2–1
12. 3–1
13. 7 June 2019 Daugava Stadium, Riga, Latvia 45  Latvia 1–0 3–0
14. 2–0
15. 3–0
16. 5 September 2019 Turner Stadium, Be'er Sheva, Israel 47  FYR Macedonia 1–0 1–1
17. 9 September 2019 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia 48  Slovenia 2–1 2–3
18. 10 October 2019 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria 49  Austria 1–0 1–3
19. 15 October 2019 Turner Stadium, Be'er Sheva, Israel 50  Latvia 2–0 3–1
20. 4 September 2020 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 53  Scotland 1–1 1–1 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B
21. 11 October 2020 Sammy Ofer Stadium, Haifa, Israel 56  Czech Republic 1–2 1–2
22. 14 October 2020 Anton Malatinský Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia 57  Slovakia 1–2 3–2
23. 2–2
24. 3–2
25. 31 March 2021 Zimbru Stadium, Chișinău, Moldova 62  Moldova 1–1 4–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
26. 5 June 2021 City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro 63  Montenegro 1–0 3–1 Friendly

Honours

Club

Hapoel Tel Aviv

Maccabi Tel Aviv

  • Israeli Premier League: 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15
  • Israel State Cup: 2014–15
  • Toto Cup: 2014–15

Individual

  • Israeli Premier League Most Assists: 2010–11
  • Footballer of the Year in Israel: 2013–14, 2014–15
  • Israeli Premier League Top Goalscorer: 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
  • Israeli Premier League Player of the Month: December 2014
  • 2015–16 UEFA Champions League qualifying phase Top Scorer: 7 goals
  • Chinese Super League MVP: 2017
  • Chinese Super League Top Scorer: 2017, 2019
  • Chinese Super League Team of the Year: 2017, 2019
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