eyal berkovic 88.
(photo credit: )
Eyal Berkovic was convicted of assaulting and threatening his son's soccer coach Danny Etziyoni on Wednesday after confessing to the charges in Kfar Saba's Magistrates Court as part of a plea bargain.
The 36-year-old, one of Israel's greatest ever soccer players, will serve 100 hours of community service and will also compensate Etziyoni with NIS 2,000.
On October 13, 2007, Berkovic boarded the bus of Maccabi Herzliya's children's team, in which his son played, and assaulted Etziyoni while verbally abusing him.
Berkovic admitted to saying to his son's coach: "I will destroy you. I will haunt you for the rest of your career. You're harassing the boy because of me. You're frustrated."
Berkovic was unrepentant when discussing the situation on Wednesday.
"I'm not sorry," he told Channel 2. "I did what any other father would have done to protect his son from the trouble called Danny Etziyoni.
"Because I'm famous and he chases fame he filed a complaint and it came to this. He's a frustrated small guy who abuses children. I'm not sorry. If anybody showed be sorry it's him."
A most talented playmaker, Berkovic rose to fame in Israel playing for the Maccabi Haifa team which won the league and cup double in 1991.
In 1996 he moved to English side Southampton, the first of six British teams he played for in a rocky career tainted by off-field incidents including a fracas with then-West Ham teammate John Hartson in 1999.
Berkovic is currently runs a soccer school in Nesher.