Israel joined UEFA and settled to play in Europe in 1994. The State of Israel was created in 1948. The Israeli national team played its first official game as an independent state on the 26th September 1948, against USA, losing the game 1-3. Due to its geographical position, Israel participated mainly in Asian and European football tournaments. Israel's biggest defeat came in 1949 and 1961, losing 6-0 to Yugoslavia and Italy respectively. Their biggest win was a 9-0 result against Chinese Taipei. The team plays its home matches at the Ramat Gan Stadium and the current captain is Liverpool player Yossi Benayoun. The most capped player is Arik Benado (95 caps) and the all-time top scorer is Mordechai Spiegler (32 goals). Home fixtures are played in blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks. Away fixtures are played in white shirts, blue shorts and white socks.
Although being on the Asian continent Israel play in the UEFA confederation and their highest ever FIFA ranking was 15 in November 2008. Israel wear an all blue home kit with white trim supplied by adidas with the away kit being the opposite. Israel would not consider themselves as a dominant nation but have had several notable players to play for the side including Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben Haim, Ben Sahar, Dudu Aouate, Dekel Keinan and Elyaniv Barda.
The Israel national football team has changed kits manufacturers [...]
In 1964, Israel hosted and managed to win the Asian Nations. Cup. It was in 1970 that Israel qualified for the first time, and the only time, for the World Cup. In its group, it obtained draws against Sweden and Italy and lost to Uruguay. Therefore, the Israeli national team was eliminated in this phase. Israel did England a huge favour in the Euro 2008 campaign, managing to win Russia 2-1, where a Russian win would have meant the automatic elimination of England. However, England failed to capitalise on this result, losing their last infamous qualifying game against Croatia.
In Europe, Israel was always considered a minor nation. This doesn't mean that they did not get some important results. In 1999, they went as far as the play-offs for the Euro 2000 tournament but lost to Denmark. In the 2006 World Cup qualifying stage the Israeli team, managed by current Chelsea manager Avram Grant, went 10 games unbeaten but still failed to qualify. Avram Grant resigned in 2005 being succeeded by current manager Dror Kashtan. The political situation on the Korean peninsula has lead to some controversial events surrounding the two teams. This includes the recent 2010 World Cup Qualifier in which the North Korean government banned the playing of the South Korean national anthem and South Korean flags from the match. The situation was eventually resolved when FIFA stepped in and moved the game to a neutral venue in Shanghai, China.