Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho unexpectedly met local Israeli soccer star Eran Zahavi at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday.
Zahavi, who was traveling to the Emirati metropolis of Dubai for vacation, welcomed the Brazilian soccer legend to Israel with a warm hug.
Ronaldinho and his FC Barcelona Legends team arrived in the Holy Land to play two friendly games against veteran stars of local Israeli teams, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa.
The Brazilian athlete recently praised the Jewish state and its people ahead of the two games.
“I am very happy to be coming to Israel again,” the Brazilian soccer legend said. “I love the country and I love the people,” he added.
“We’re going to have a superb experience with marches against legends from Israel’s greatest teams. It will be a great party in magnificent stadiums, in front of tens of thousands of fans,” Ronaldinho stated with enthusiasm.
Ronaldinho’s Barcelona Legends team defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 5-3 in an entertaining goal festival at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.
Javier Saviola scored 1-0 for the visiting Barcelona start team merely two minutes into the game.
Barak Badash, who played for Maccabi Tel Aviv, managed to even the score about six minutes later. However, following Rivaldo’s 2-1 score for Barcelona, about 30 minutes into the game, Ronaldinho’s team was in full control until the game's end.
Barca's three other goals were scored Bojan Krkic, Jofre Mateu and Saviola again, while Turgeman and Haim scored for Tel Aviv.
Following its win against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Barcelona Legends team traveled to the Israeli coastal city of Haifa to play a friendly game against Maccabi Haifa’s star veterans.
Haifa's squad got off to a great start and led the game 1-0 at halftime after Reuven Attar scored a goal in minute 8.
But Barcelona's legends stormed back and won the game 1-5 with goals scored by Ronaldinho, Ludovic Giuly, Bojan Krkic and two goals by Javier Saviola.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.