Petah Tikva (dpa) – For Peter Bosz it is a journey into the past. His memories of Israel are nothing but positive. Since then, the Dutch has been enthusiastic about the country. The only six months at Maccabi Tel Aviv really kicked off the Dutchman’s coaching career.

At the age of 52, he came to Tel Aviv and lost just one of 23 matches – the cup final of all things. He recommended himself to Ajax Amsterdam, the biggest club in his home country, from where he moved on to Borussia Dortmund after reaching the Europa League final, eventually ending up at Bayer Leverkusen in December 2018. In Bayer’s first competitive game on Israeli soil, Bosz now sits on the bench as head coach (6:55 PM / DAZN). And the opponent is the club that grabbed the championship title from under its nose: Hapoel Be’er Sheva.

“It was a great time here, even if it was only six months,” Bosz said at the press conference after arriving in Israel, “And I was very happy to be back here.” The joy of the reunion is probably enhanced by the fact that the match takes place in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva and not Be’er Sheva, which is more than 100 kilometers away.

Bosz had to prepare completely new for Thursday’s opponent. “When I see the names, there is nothing left of the team from back then,” he said. Former master coach Barak Bakhar (41) is still in office.

In essence, of course, the Israeli team has “less experience at the highest level of football,” Bosz said. “Still, they shouldn’t be underestimated.” He certainly won’t do it himself.

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