Israeli dynamo Eran Zahavi got well over a million likes from fans hoping he will join a professional team in Turkey, a Muslim-majority nation led by a pro-terror leader who publicly antagonizes the Jewish state.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Israeli soccer sensation Eran Zahavi has been wowing sports fans around the world with his goal-scoring prowess starring for teams in Israel, Italy and China. But now rumors of a move to play in Turkey has soccer fans there burning the social media wires.
For the past four years Zahavi has been a star striker for the Guangzhou R&F team in China’s top soccer league, but last week Turkish soccer fans went wild over an exchange the Israeli player had on his Instagram account with a fan of Fenerbahçe in Turkey’s pro league.
The fan asked Zahavi to please please “Come to Fenerbahçe.”
Zahavi replied that he’d do it “if your comment achieves 500k” likes.
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That campaign went viral and generated a post that got over a million likes.
However, his agent Ronen Katzav said that while Zahavi and Guangzhou R&F have agreed to part ways, the Israeli all-star has not made a decision yet on his next team.
“I am proud to see Turkish fans’ support for Zahavi,” Katzav said. “I thank them all for that. What I can say right now, Eran Zahavi has not signed anywhere. As you know, his contract in China will expire at the end of December. When something official happens, we will announce it.”
Zahavi’s wife Shay took notice of the fan love aimed at her husband.
“The interest of Fenerbahçe fans is incredible,” she said. “I saw the number of likes after Eran’s comment. If I were them, I would like Zahavi on my team.”
The Turkish news website Takvim reported on the weekend that Zahavi, 33, is being wooed by a team in the Dutch league, but Fenerbahçe has been interested in him for a long time although it is unknown how much the Dutch team’s offer is.
Takvim reported earlier that Zehavi was on the verge of signing a two year contract worth 2.3 million euros per season, along with a signing bonus of one million euros.
Fenerbahçe is familiar with the power of Israeli soccer players. Eighteen years ago Israeli star Haim Revivo led the team to the championship. Eight other Israelis are currently playing soccer in Turkey.
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