Celtic introduces new Israeli transfer Kiyal

Defensive midfielder signs 4 year contract worth 400,000 euros a year.

July 30, 2010 11:33
1 minute read.
NEWEST CELTIC player Biram Kiyal poses with his new jersey during his official introduction yesterda

Biram Kiyal 311. (photo credit: Andrew Milligan/Associated Press)


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Biram Kiyal was unveiled as a Celtic player on Thursday evening after completing a 2 million-euro move from Maccabi Haifa.

The 22-year-old Israel midfielder, who grew up in the Haifa youth system and became a key member of the squad in the past three seasons, helping the Greens to the Premier League title in the 2008/09 campaign, couldn’t hide his excitement after being handed the number 33 jersey at the Lennoxtown training complex.

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“This is a very big move for me,” exclaimed the newest Celtic player. “It is a dream come true.”

“Last week during the discussions I could not sleep. I couldn’t wait to be where I am now.”

Kiyal, who is set to earn 400,000 euros a year, around four times as much as he made at Kiryat Eliezer, signed a four-year deal and became new manager Neil Lennon’s seventh signing of the summer, joining Efrain Juarez, Charlie Mulgrew, Cha Du-Ri, Joe Ledley, Daryl Murphy and Gary Hooper at Celtic Park.

A defensive midfielder at the international level, Kiyal had been encouraged to play as more of free-range player for Haifa. His combative style suggests he will provide competition to Efrain Juarez to play in a withdrawn role in the middle of the park in Lennon’s side, allowing other players to mount attacks.

Celtic, which has struggled in the past couple of seasons, failing to win either the Scottish Premier League or Scottish Cup, got the current campaign off to a poor start as well, losing 3-0 on the road to Portugal’s S.C. Braga in the first leg of the third qualifying round of the Champions League on Wednesday.

As a result, Kiyal may not get the chance to play in European competition for Celtic this season, but he is confident he will be able to make a significant contribution in Glasgow.

“I’m excited and I am just thinking about the minute I go on the pitch and play for the Celtic fans,” he said. “I am a player who gives everything, every time. I play for the fans and I play for the manager. I was like this at every club I have played at before and this attitude fits everywhere.”

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