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Robbie Keane wins Israeli Premier League title in first year as manager alongside another icon

Former Tottenham star Robbie Keane won the Israeli Premier League in his first season in charge of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Keane, who was hired as coach last July, led his team to glory on Saturday night when his side beat Hapoel Be’er Sheva 3-0.

Keane and Delap won the championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv


Keane and Delap won the championship with Maccabi Tel AvivCredit: Getty

This puts Maccabi Tel Aviv eight points clear of second-placed Maccabi Haifa with two matches remaining, giving them an unassailable lead.

Keane was hired by the Israeli side after a disappointing campaign last season with Stoke legend Rory Delap joining as assistant coach.

The former Premier League striker, who played for Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham and Leeds United in the top flight, has led Maccabi Tel Aviv to 24 wins, seven draws and three defeats in his 34 outings this season.

This will see them compete in the Champions League qualifiers this summer, with a chance to face some of the big teams next year like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal if they manage to qualify for the group stage.

Prior to his role at Maccabi Tel Aviv, Keane had been an assistant at Leeds under Sam Allardyce in May 2023.

However, the duo were unable to prevent the club from being relegated to the Championship with four games left to make their mark.

As well as serving as Middlesbrough manager in 2019, Keane was also appointed as Republic of Ireland assistant manager under boss Stephen Kenny, who saw his contract expire last November and was not renewed.

There had been speculation that Keane would accept the permanent position, a position which has not yet been filled and several candidates have dropped out.

Keane led Maccabi Tel Aviv to glory in his first year in charge


Keane led Maccabi Tel Aviv to glory in his first year in chargeCredit: AFP

Prior to his national team role, the former striker was player-coach of Indian team ATK for a stint in 2018.

In his three games in charge from March to May, he won two and lost one and is the fourth highest scorer of all time with eight goals.

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This season, Keane was evacuated from Tel Aviv after Hamas attacked the city. The Irishman and his coaching staff were taken to Greece to avoid trouble.

Before they could be evacuated, they were forced into a panic room.

During the conflict, Maccabi Tel Aviv played at the TSC Arena in Backa Topola, Serbia, before returning to their Bloomfield Stadium in December.


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