Alberman and Colautti trying to make their mark in Germany

The only two Israelis playing in Germany's top level Bundesliga have had a difficult start.

gal alberman 224 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gal alberman 224 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Roberto Colautti and Gal Alberman are the only two Israelis playing in Germany's top level Bundesliga, and they too have had a difficult start. The pair both play at newly promoted Borussia Monchengladbach, a team which has lost its first two league games. But both are staying positive about their chances in Germany, despite the hurdles they know they will have to overcome. Colautti, an Argentinian who married an Israeli and gained Israeli citizenship while playing for Maccabi Haifa, has been playing at Monchengladbach for a year although he was injured for much of last season. Alberman, meanwhile, spent two and a half years at Betar Jerusalem where he won two successive league titles before moving to Borussia in the summer. Speaking about his hopes for season, Alberman told this week, "I want to help the team succeed in securing our top flight status as quickly as possible. Obviously I want to pick up where I left off last season, and continue growing as a person and a sportsman. "I'd rather not say much more than that. Actions speak louder than words." The midfielder has also become an essential part of Israel's national team, playing alongside Colautti, and expressed his hope for the upcoming World Cup qualification campaign. "It was pretty close for the Euros. I think we were in the hardest group too. Russia made it to the semi-finals, Croatia made the quarters, and England are one of the greatest footballing nations of them all. We gave a really good account of ourselves, so we'll pick ourselves up and have another shot at it in qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa," he said. Colautti agreed adding, "Yes, I think [Greece and Switzerland] are the strongest teams in our group. But identifying one or two favorites who you feel you definitely have to beat gets you nowhere. The so-called easier matches against the likes of Moldova, Latvia and Luxembourg are the ones where you have to give it 100 per cent, because you have to avoid dropping unnecessary points." This is Alberman' second stint abroad, after playing in the Spanish second division with Tenerife in 2005. But he still admitted that the presence of Colautti at Monchengladbach was a significant factor in his decision to move to the club. "It was definitely good to know there'd be someone around who I knew and who'd understand me, especially if it turned out things didn't go so well at the start," he said. "Roberto said I'd probably enjoy Germany. It's a healthy mix of physical and skillful football, very similar to Israel. As to living here, Roberto chose Dusseldorf, a genuinely multicultural big city. That's where I've taken an apartment too." However, it wasn't only the presence of his friend that made him pick Borussia. "I didn't opt for the Bundesliga because of Roberto, I wanted to take the next step in my career. Borussia were very keen to have me, and my gut feeling told me it could be a good fit," he noted. "Obviously, it was in the back of my mind that if I did complete the transfer I wouldn't be alone at the start, I'd be playing alongside a colleague from the national team. Roberto is a good friend, and it goes without saying we're room-mates for Borussia training camps."