Nation mourns soccer sensation 'Shaya' Glazer

He managed to play and win in six Israeli championships and, when playing for the national team, scored 18 goals in 35 appearances.

Yehoshua "Shaya" Glazer holding a Maccabi Tel Aviv shirt, a team to which he once belonged, 2012. (photo credit: MACCABI TEL AVIV WEBSITE)
Yehoshua "Shaya" Glazer holding a Maccabi Tel Aviv shirt, a team to which he once belonged, 2012.
(photo credit: MACCABI TEL AVIV WEBSITE)
Israel lost a legend on Saturday when soccer veteran Yehoshua “Shaya” Glazer died on his 91st birthday.
Glazer grew up in the Ussishkin neighborhood in Tel Aviv, according to the Maccabi Tel Aviv website, and was the first to wear the number nine on a jersey in the new State of Israel. He joined the club as a senior member at the age of 18 and is one of the most legendary strikers in the team’s history.
He won six Israeli championships and, when playing for the national team, scored 18 goals in 35 appearances.
“I’m telling you, before me, there had never been a ‘racer’ [forward with speed] like me,” Glazer said in a 2012 interview. “I got offers from abroad, the Turks were ready to offer me the crown jewels, but my brother asked me not to go, so I stayed.”

Shaya was a soccer legend even in his own lifetime,” said President Reuven Rivlin regarding Glazer’s passing. “The whole country held its breath when the ball was at his feet, wearing the number nine shirt.”
“Shaya will always be one of the greatest soccer legends for me and I will always carry the memory of the wonderful games he gave us,” the president added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on Twitter in mourning of both Glazer and Tzvika Levy, who passed away on Saturday, as well. “Each one of them gave in his way to Israel with all his might.”


Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said, “Shaya was not only a wonderful pioneer on the soccer field, but also one of the greatest pioneers of the Hagana, whose members fought for the establishment of the State of Israel.”
“I am sure that soccer fans in Israel will forever remember your tremendous contribution to the industry.”