Berkovic and Revivo team up for charity match

Former Israeli national team stars play together on the Premier League "Stars" team, which drew 3-3 with Betar Jerusalem.

October 25, 2006 00:47
2 minute read.

Former Israeli national team stars Haim Revivo and Eyal Berkovic made a rare appearance on the same team Tuesday evening when they played together on the Premier League "Stars" team, which drew 3-3 with Betar Jerusalem in a charity match at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium. Although he retired from professional soccer following last season's disappointing campaign with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Berkovic looked on good form for the entire 25 minutes he played in the game, which raised money for the Osim Hayim Center for Youth with Cancer. Before the game, Berkovic admitted he hadn't played much in recent months and felt a little out of shape. But the 34-year-old midfielder grabbed the first goal after just seven minutes of the match, which also saw ex-Israel captain Avi Nimni face up against his former Betar team mates. The majority of the Betar first-team squad played, including Argentinean striker Christian Fabiani, who was suspended for Sunday's 3-0 Israeli Premier League win over Maccabi Herzliya. Former Celta Vigo and Maccabi Haifa player Revivo, who retired two years ago, said he rarely plays soccer, but felt it was important to help raise money for children in need. "I am playing because of the children," he said. "I think it is something beautiful that we have to help these kids. I haven't played at all for about a year. I don't miss it much, as I am doing a lot of work. I did a little bit of stretching to prepare." Revivo, who played 22 minutes, and Berkovic clearly made an effort to entertain the crowd, showing off their skills with clever flicks and passes during the early part of the first half. "It is excellent to play with Haim," Berkovic said before the game. "We used to have a very good partnership and hopefully we can show a little bit of magic today. But we are too heavy now, as we haven't played for a long time." Betar goalkeeper Itzik Kornfein spoke of the need to highlight the charity's work. "I think it is a very important game because of its purpose," he said. "It is a privilege for us at Betar Jerusalem and each one of us as a football player to participate." In the 20th minute of the game the score was level after Igor Chakana, the toddler son of former Hapoel Ramat Gan striker Carlos Chakana, made his way onto the pitch and scored. The event also gave some of the young cancer sufferers the chance to share the pitch with their idols. One of them even scored for Betar to make the score 2-1. The match finished 3-3 after Betar defender David Amsalem and singer Eyal Golan scored for the hosts and Asi Toobi equalized for the Stars right at the end.

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