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Gideon “Gadi” Brumer

(1973 - )

Born in South Africa on November 5, 1973, some argue that Gideon Brumer should have gone down in history as the greatest Israeli defender of all time, but a crippling injury and a confidence crisis undermined his soccer career for a time. Although he never regained all of his prior form, Gadi did reclaim his place on the national team and looked good. Gadi had 23 caps and two goals.

Brumer was loyal to his club, and Maccabi Tel Aviv, in return, showed remarkable patience toward the crisis-prone player. Gadi came through the ranks for Maccabi and debuted during the 1989-90 season as a youth. He played a role in Maccabi's 1991-92 Israel League title and established himself as the best defender in Israel during the 1993-94 season when Maccabi won the State Cup.

During the 1994-95 campaign, Maccabi won the league title, and Brumer was widely considered by both players and the press to be the best Israeli defender in the country's history. In 1995-96, Gadi was impenetrable, his passes were inspiring, and he packed a mean free-kick shot. Brumer became an essential component of Shlomo Scharf's national team and scored a great goal against Russia in a qualifying match that ended in a 1-1 draw.

During the 1995-96 season, Tel Aviv won the league and Cup "double" with ease, due in part, to the great defensive pairing of Brumer and Amir Shelah. At the season's end, Brumer was summoned to a trial with Manchester United. Though he was good in the trial, Manchester preferred Norwegian Ronnie Johnsen. Brumer was offered contracts from other teams, but decided to hold out for a big club.

Brumer began the 1996-97 season well enough but broke his leg mid-season. He returned the following year, but was a shadow of his former self and lost his place in the national team. By 1998-99, Gadi had regained his first team place but was in fairly miserable form. He seemed scared to tackle and to take players on. There was some improvement in 2000-01 when Brumer scored a league goal and helped Maccabi win the State Cup.

In 2001-02, under the patient tutelage of Nir Levin, Brumer began to regain his confidence. He anchored an exciting side featuring young talents like Eli Biton and Baruch Dago and helped them to their second straight State Cup. Maccabi had a new coach for the 2002-03 season, Gadi's former teammate, Nir Klinger. Klinger has helped Brumer regain his place on the national team. The veteran provides valuable service at the back, even though his long-time partnership with Amir Shelah ended in 2001-02.

Gadi was ever-present in Maccabi's lineup during 2002-03, a veteran on an otherwise young and inexperienced side. Tel Aviv won the title on the last day of the season as Brumer enjoyed his fourth career championship.

It seems that Gadi's career is now over due to a lack of interest in his services. Maccabi Tel Aviv released him before the 2004-05 season, and he will seek a role in management.

Source: Jews in Sports.