If you qualify for the 2022 World Cup, this will be extended until the end of the year. In the qualification, Israel will meet the ÖFB national team on September 4th at home and on November 12th in Austria.
Even after the draw for the World Cup qualification on December 7th, Ruttensteiner, in his role as technical director of the Israeli team, said that he did not know who would look after the team. Now all the details have been clarified and the contract signed on Tuesday on home leave in Wolfern. The vote for him was clear: of the around 35 members on the association’s board, only two were against the appointment of the Austrian as team boss, but wanted to keep him as sports director.
“On the right track”
“A big vote of confidence that underlines that my team and I have done a good job and are on the right track,” the 58-year-old is quoted in a broadcast. “It’s fun and a great motivation to compete with the best.” Ruttensteiner is relinquishing the position of sports director, he will support his successor as a consultant and speaker in the training of coaches.
The coaching team should be in place in the course of January, it has already been determined that Klaus Lindenberger will remain goalkeeper coach. It is open, but unlikely, that ex-swimming star Markus Rogan will continue to be the team’s mental coach. In October he caused a stir because he had left Israel despite an active coronavirus illness because he wanted to spend the quarantine at home in the USA. At that time, Ruttensteiner spoke of a “terrible mistake by Markus”.
“Want to play a good role”
Ruttensteiner has been team manager since July after Herzog announced the end of his job at the end of June. In October, Israel failed in the fight for a place in the next European Championship finals in the play-off semi-finals after a penalty shoot-out against Scotland.
“After we managed to stay up in Nations League B and only failed in the penalty shootout in the play-off for the EM, I don’t want to formulate any results. It is important to me that the team continues to develop and that the positive process goes ahead, ”said Ruttensteiner about the upcoming World Cup qualification. “With teams like Austria, Denmark or Scotland in the qualifying group, we cannot assume promotion – but we want to play a good role and be there if a chance arises.”
Good mix in the team
With the 21-year-old Manor Solomon (Donetsk), Israel’s squad not only has a huge talent, but also has a record scorer in Eran Zahavi (PSV Eindhoven) who will continue their team career. “It helps a lot that our leader continues. A few players from the U21 will move up, but basically I’ll stick to the squad. “
In the World Cup qualification, Israel starts on March 25th and 28th with the home games against Denmark and Scotland. The home game against Austria will probably take place in the Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa or the new Bloomfield Arena in Tel Aviv. “It’s something else when you meet your home country as a team boss in a country or as a sports director of the association. There will be special emotions, ”said Ruttensteiner, who will continue to work as a technical observer in the Champions League.