Tough, respected and familiar with Israel: Jarko Laztic is the coach that Maccabi Tel Aviv was looking for

Maccabi Tel Aviv officially announced the signing of coach Jarko Laztic. The 42-year-old Serbian will earn in Israel almost 3 times what he received in his previous team, Bacca Topola, where his salary was estimated at 150 thousand euros per season. In Maccabi Tel Aviv, the Serbian will receive about 400 thousand euros without bonuses for winning titles.

“This is a financial and professional upgrade on Laztic’s part,” stated the Serbian press, “You can’t refuse big money, which in Serbia can only be received at Red Star or Partizan. Many coaches, including Vladimir Ivic, received a large professional contribution from Maccabi Tel Aviv that helped them advance, this is the route that the coach would have wanted for him as well.”

Behind the scenes, CEO Ben Mansford thought that Maccabi Tel Aviv should maintain its style of play and the 3-3-4 system, advocated by Robbie Keane. This was also his request from a number of foreign players’ agents, from whom he asked to look for a coach for the Yellows. The additional emphasis, Be a team that dominates the game, is strong and try to adapt the current squad to the team’s style, with an emphasis on players like Milson, Dor Turgeman, Dor Peretz and others.

In this respect, Laztic was one of the leading candidates from the very beginning. By the way, Laztic was also seen dealing well with Barak Becher at the champions last season, when Bachka Topola drew 1:1 from Red Star Belgrade. In addition, his team recorded 17 games without conceding a goal in the Serbian league (more than any other team), a figure that greatly impressed Mansford and led Zarko Laztic to the title of coach of the season in Serbia.

Goldhar. confirmed the appointment, Photo: Alan Shiver

Maccabi Tel Aviv is expected to pay compensation to Bacca Tupola, although it is not yet clear how much it will be. The Yellows played last season in the home stadium of the Serbian club when they were forced to migrate from Israel following the war. “Already there, at Maccabi Tel Aviv, they were exposed for the first time to Zarko Laztic’s football,” said insiders, “the team stayed in Serbia, the managers saw games in the local league, including some of Bachka Topola, who was very disciplined and orderly, with a much lower budget than Red Star or Partizan “.

Beyond all these, it was important for Maccabi Tel Aviv to bring a coach who paid upon his arrival in Israel, despite the war already entering its ninth month. The tough Serbian character was something that Mitch Goldhar and Ben Mansford liked from the moment the Canadian owner confirmed his appointment.

The fact that he has been in Israel in the past and is familiar with the country, also helped him to make the decision. Beyond that, he consulted with football people in Serbia who advised him to come to Maccabi Tel Aviv, including midfielder Nikola Mitrovic, ex-yellows. After the proposal, he was given several days to think in order to make a decision, which in the end was positive.

In the first stage, the appointment will be for one season, when the Yellows will have the option to extend the contract next summer, although past experience shows that this does not really matter. In terms of the team that will surround Laztic, according to Serbian sources, it is important for him to bring with him at least some of the people who worked with him and are familiar with the tough work style that his players used to in Bacca Topola.


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In light of the departure of the entire professional team last season, this is a demand that was answered positively by Maccabi Tel Aviv, and now it only remains to be seen which of the Serbian’s men will come with him to Kiryat Shalom. All of these will be joined by fitness trainer Yossi Zigdon, who is highly regarded in the Yellow Club and is considered one of the most important people in the physiological system built in Kiryat Shalom in recent years.

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