Haim Revivo was the first Israeli player to play in the Spanish League. He did it in Celta de Vigo between 1996 and 2000, period in which the team reached to reach semifinals of the UEFA CUP(1999).
The goal of Revivo in Anfield that entered the history of Celta
Revivo arrived at Celta after being named best player of the Israeli championship in the two previous campaigns, in the Maccabi Haifa. He did not stand out for his scoring ability (he only made a fortnight in the League), but he treasured one of the best left-handers Balaídos has enjoyed in the last decades. With Irureta first and then with Víctor Fernández as coaches, he was one of the bastions of that Celta nicknamed as ‘La máquina'(the machine).
The most remembered episode of Haim Revivo in Spain, however, was the controversy that was generated around the schedule of the match Celta-Betis of 1996, only a couple of months after his arrival in Vigo. The match was set for 20:00 hours on Sunday, September 22nd, half an hour after the Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur or ‘Day of Forgiveness’ began in Israel, a day of fasting and prayer starting at sunset .
Revivo went to rest to celebrate Yom Kippur
Revivo consulted with a rabbi of Madrid what he should do, since his agent had included in the contract a clause by which the Celta had to respect his religious customs. The rabbi stated that Revivo had to be in his home at 19:45 to go locked and not eat or drink until the evening of the following day, according to this Jewish rite of penance. Solution? To advance the hour of the party to 18:00 so that Revivo could play the first part, since the option to advance the party to Saturday was vetoed to Celta. Everything went well for Revivo except the result: 0-2 for the Betis.
The best goals of Revivo in the Spanish League
Toshack called for Real Madrid and Rivaldo told him that he would play with him at Barcelon, but that jump never came and, after leaving Vigo in 2000, he would end up in the ranks of Fenerbahçe. Especially well things went in the first campaign, where he conquered the Turkish Superleague with great protagonism in the equipment.
Shortly afterwards he would move on to Fenerbahçe’s great rival, Galatasaray, where it stayed only a season. A controversial transfer that Revivo already did in its beginnings, when it left the Bnei Yehuda of Tel Aviv to sign for the Hapoel. Before retiring, however, he did have time for sentimentality: he played a season at Ashdod in his hometown, where he hung up his boots at age 31.