Fitting farewell showdown for Davidovich and Badier

Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper Nir Davidovich, Hapoel Tel Aviv defender Walid Badier make their final appearances before official retirement.

May 16, 2013 23:58
1 minute read.
Walid Badier.

Walid Badier 370. (photo credit: Adi Avishai and Asaf Kliger)

The careers of two of the Premier League’s all-time greats will come to an end on Saturday night when Maccabi Haifa goalkeeper Nir Davidovich and Hapoel Tel Aviv defender Walid Badier make their final appearances before officially retiring.

Davidovich and Badier have been two of the league’s most successful players over the past two decades, winning numerous trophies while playing key roles for the Israel national team.

Davidovich’s Haifa hosts Badier’s Hapoel in the final weekend of the season on Saturday, turning the otherwise meaningless showdown at Kiryat Eliezer Stadium into an emotional farewell for both legends.

Davidovich made his debut for Haifa in November 1995 and is set to total 386 league appearances for the club despite an injury ravaged career. The 36- year-old, who lost his starting role to Bojan Saranov this season, won seven championships and two State Cups with the Greens, making 51 appearances for Israel between 1998 and 2010.

Davidovich and Badier were teammates at Haifa for five seasons (2000-2005), during which the club won four championships.

The 39-year-old Badier began his career at Hapoel Petah Tikva in 1992 and played for the club until joining Wimbledon of the English Premier League in the 1999/2000 season, during which he scored a memorable goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

After one season in England he signed with Haifa and has played for Hapoel Tel Aviv since 2005.

He is set to make a total of 533 league appearances, playing 74 times for Israel. Besides his four championships at Haifa, Badier also won the league title with Hapoel in 2010 as well as lifting the cup five times with the Reds.

Also Saturday, Hapoel Ramat Hasharon hosts Ironi Kiryat Shmona, with Maccabi Tel Aviv welcoming Bnei Yehuda in the final match of the 2012/13 campaign on Monday.

On TV: Saturday: Maccabi Haifa vs Hapoel Tel Aviv (live on Sport 1 at 7:30 p.m.

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