Berkovic takes charge at Hapoel

By Simon Griver, May 30, 2014

Eyal Berkovic is setting his sights high after being appointed manger of Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Hapoel have lived in the shadows of city rivals Maccabi in recent seasons, but Berkovic is confident he can help turn their fortunes around.

Unveiled to fans following the sacking of Ran Ben Shimon, who led the team to fourth in Ligat Ha’Al and Europa League qualification, Berkovic says he is unfazed by the club’s lack of finances.

Berkovic said: "We can win everything next season. We are a huge club by Israeli standards and I’m aiming very high.

"Maccabi may have money, but Hapoel has heart and soul."

An outspoken and controversial character, Berkovic stepped down at Maccabi Netanya before the season started after a disagreement with the club’s owner in 2007. He was subsequently appointed Israel under-17 manager, but resigned over a conflict of interests with his youth football business.

Berkovic, 42, has signed a one-year contract at Hapoel, worth £5,000 per month, but he insists he is not interested in the money.

He has been working as a TV and radio commentator since retiring after an illustrious nine-year career as a midfielder in England, including spells at Southampton, West Ham, Manchester City and Celtic. Berkovic made 78 appearances for Israel and has always declared that his ultimate ambition is to manage the national team.

Last updated: 11:28am, May 30 2014