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Yehiel Tzagai

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Yehiel Tzagai

Yehiel Tzagai
Personal information
Full name Yehiel Habatmo Tzagai
Date of birth (1983-01-27) 27 January 1983
Place of birth Ethiopia
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Hapoel Ashkelon
Number 7
Youth career
Beitar Be'er Sheva
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001-2002 Beitar Be'er Sheva 12 (2)
2002-2007 Hapoel Be'er Sheva 87 (14)
2003-2004 Hakoah Ramat Gan (loan) 17 (2)
2004-2005 F.C. Ashdod (loan)[1] 2 (0)
2007-2008 Maccabi Netanya 28 (4)
2008-2009 Bnei Sakhnin 22 (3)
2009-2010 Hapoel Ashkelon 26 (13)
2010-2011 APOP Kinyras Peyias 7 (0)
2011 Hapoel Be'er Sheva 9 (0)
2011-2012 Sektzia Nes Tziona 30 (9)
2012- Hapoel Ashkelon 67 (18)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 December 2012.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 July 2008

Yehiel Tzagai (Hebrew: יחיאל צגאי‎, born 27 January 1983) is an Israeli footballer of Ethiopian descent.[2]


Tzagai was born in the Beta Israel community in Ethiopia and his family immigrated to Israel in 1991 during the Operation Solomon.

Tzagai grew up through the ranks at Beitar Avraham Be'er Sheva but as the club has collapsed in 2002, he signed at another club in Beersheba - Hapoel Be'er Sheva where he was loaned until 2004 to F.C. Ashdod and Hakoah Ramat Gan.

In 2004 Tzagai returned to Hapoel Be'er Sheva and played there for three seasons in the second league, where we was considered one of the most talented players in the whole league. During the 2006-07 season, Tzagai and two other Be'er Sheva players admitted to receiving bribes to throw a match against Hapoel Ra'anana.[3] However, all three players had refused to throw the match, and later received threats from the people who had attempted to bribe them.[4]

In July 2007 Tzagai signed for Maccabi Netanya and had a very successful debut season with 4 goals and 6 assists, but after some problems with Lothar Matthäus he decided to leave the club and in the end of September 2008 he signed with Bnei Sakhnin.

In September 2009 after one poor season with Sakhnin, Tzagai signed for Hapoel Ashkelon. He scored 13 goals and made 7 assists and was voted as the MVP of the 2009-10 season in Liga Leumit after he was the main reason Ashkelon got promoted to the Israeli Premier League.

In 23 May 2010 it was reported that Tzagai signed a 2-year contract with APOP Kinyras Peyias [5]

He returned to Hapoel Be'er Sheva in 10 January 2011.

In May 2011 he signed a 2 years contract with Sektzia Nes Tziona in the Liga Leumit.


  • Liga Leumit:
    • Runner-up (1): 2009-10
    • Player of the Year (2): 2009-10, 2011–12


  1. ^,1,9,29954/%D7%99%D7%97%D7%99%D7%90%D7%9C_%D7%A6%D7%92%D7%90%D7%99
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Soccer match canceled after three players admit taking bribes Haaretz, 17 December 2006
  4. ^ Two suspected of seeking to extort money from footballer's father Haaretz, 2 October 2007
  5. ^ [2]
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