Scottish champions Celtic are going to face a huge competition for a spot in the UEFA Champions League when they take on Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
The desert of Negev has waited four decades to win the champsionship in May, with their last try back in 1976. The city is barely 100 kilometres south of the country’s capital, living in the shadows of the capital. They won the cup in 1997 under the guidance of Eli Guttman but they are known for their 12-0 humiliating loss in Europe to Barcelona in 1994. After that win in 1997, they played in the Cup Winners’ Cup against Roda but lost 10-0. That season the outfit ended up being relegated from the top flight football.
Be’er Sheva has struggled to recover from the blow since their poor showing in Europe. The relegation left 18 year old graduate of their academy Yossi Benayoun hanging. Bernayoun started at career with Dutch giant Ajax before returning home to play for Be’er Sheva. Eventually, he moved to Maccabi Haifa, then to Racing before moving to England. He remains Israel best ever player still. Be’er Sheva returning to Europe would want to prove their worth so Celtic won’t have it easy.
The club has a female, Alona Barkat as its owner. She didn’t have the knowledge required initially and almost sold it but has grown to be a strong leader aiming very high. Also, while Bernayoun didn’t rejoin his boyhood club, Elyaniv Barda returned after six good years in Belgium. The club’s home ground is a fortress and they remain unbeaten. The coach at the helms isn’t one Celtic can take lightly as they are not in the league of Astana who even posed a little problem in the previous round. They defeated Olympiakos in the previous round and are keen on playing in Europe, so Celtic better prepare hard.