Cruyff to depart Maccabi Tel Aviv after season

Yellow-and-blue will be hard-pressed to match the level of respectability Dutchman brought to club.

March 28, 2018 00:43
2 minute read.
Cruyff to depart Maccabi Tel Aviv after season

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach Jordi Cruyff (left) will leave the yellow-and-blue at the end of the season, making the announcement in a press conference with owner Mitch Goldhar (right). (photo credit: DANNY MARON)


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After six years at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Jordi Cruyff will leave the yellow-andblue at the end of the season, making the shock announcement on Tuesday with club owner Mitch Goldhar sitting beside him at a press conference.

Cruyff came in to Maccabi as a sports director in the summer of 2012 and led the yellow-and-blue back to the top of local soccer. After going a decade without a league title, Maccabi won three consecutive Premier League championships in his first three years at the helm, as well as winning a State Cup and two Toto Cups. The second Toto Cup came under the guidance of coach Cruyff, who stepped down from the front office to begin his coaching career at Maccabi last summer.

“From time to time organizations and people need to take a step back and look at themselves and ensure they are traveling on the course optimal for their ultimate goals and objectives,” said Goldhar.

“Recently both Maccabi and Jordi have done that separately and individually and we have both come to the same conclusion that after six years changes in course need to be made for both of us to face new challenges.

“Therefore effective at the end of the season, Jordi will step down as the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv and will be leaving for new experiences.”

Goldhar said the decision could not have been made “in a more mutually respectful way.”

“From the time I met Jordi and through all my dealings with him over the years he has been a man of his word. In fact he is a rare breed. The paradigm of loyalty and honesty. These are qualities highly valued at Maccabi and Jordi has set a high standard indeed in this respect. Announcing this now gives us time to properly and thoughtfully pursue the next coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv together with the benefit of Jordi’s cooperation and support.”

Maccabi is currently in third place in the league standings, five points behind leader Hapoel Beersheba with nine matches to play.

“The story of Maccabi Tel Aviv like all historic soccer clubs is a colorful dramatic roller coaster ride. The chapter titled Jordi Cruyff will be one of its best,” added Goldhar. “While we approach the end of this chapter, it is not over yet. There are nine games left. I expect the players and staff to use their most aggressive best efforts and unwavering will to win to see that this season has the most appropriate ending for everyone involved.”

Cruyff said that the fact Goldhar has been in Israel over the past week made it the right time for the announcement.

“I think the timing is ideal because we can do it here sitting together and show we are doing it in a respectful, almost loving way,” said Cruyff, who added that he doesn’t know what he will do next.

“The most important message is the season is not over. There are nine more games left. We are still fighting for the title and we need to put all our focus and energy into this and bring to a happy end to my time here and that can’t be better than winning the league.”

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