1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
SoccerIsrael

Bayern Munich sign Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz

Andreas Sten-Ziemons | Felix Tamsut
August 26, 2023

After a long search for a new goalkeeper, Bayern Munich have settled on Daniel Peretz of Israel's U21 squad. Initially he's expected to be Sven Ulreich's understudy – until Manuel Neuer returns.

https://p.dw.com/p/4VaW1
Israel Torwart Daniel Peretz
Image: Tamuna Kulumbegashvili/IMAGO

The list of names that have been bandied about this summer as possible replacements for Bayern Munich No. 1 and captain Manuel Neuer is long: David de Gea, who most recently played for Manchester United, Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea, Morocco's national goalkeeper Yassine Bounou of Sevilla – to name but three.

The job description was as follows: Someone capable of stepping in as a temporary No. 1 – but who wouldn't kick up much of a fuss when relegated to the bench whenever the real No. 1 returns to action. The 37-year-old Neuer is still in rehabilitation training to recover from the broken leg he suffered on a skiing trip during last season's winter break.

Peretz as possible future No. 1

This search for a No. "1b" ended in failure, in part because clubs from Saudi Arabia pay better than Bayern. In Kepa's case, a timely opening came up a Real Madrid due to injury.

Therefore, Bayern changed their strategy and believe they have found what they were looking for in 23-year-old Maccabi Tel Aviv goalkeeper Daniel Peretz. Still, he won't be the temporary starter Bayern were originally looking for. Instead, he is to start his life in Bavaria as the backup to No. 2 keeper Sven Ulreich.

At the same time, though, Bayern's management have apparently seen enough in Peretz to pencil him in as a replacement for Neuer – at some time off in the future. After all, they've signed him to a five-year contract.

"We wish him every success," Maccabi club chief Mitchell Goldhar was quoted as saying on the club's website. "We are sad to see Daniel go, but we are also proud in many ways and wish him and his new club, Bayern Munich, the best of luck in the years to come."

Peretz' last time between the sticks for Maccabi came on Thursday in the first leg of their Conference League playoff tie against NK Celje of Slovenia.

Daniel Peretz
Daniel Peretz made his last appearance for Maccabi against NK Celje in the Conference LeagueImage: Revierfoto/dpa/picture alliance

Pride and concerns of Maccabi fans

Since it hadn't been clear when the much-anticipated transfer would go through, a teary-eyed Peretz had already said goodbye to the fans a few days ago.

"Since I was five years old, I've been at this club," he said at the airport, with a Maccabi scarf around his neck. "Thanks to you guys, I've always felt at home here."

After his last appearance for the blue and yellow against Celje, he then celebrated once again together with the Maccabi ultras, who gave him a fitting send off.

A selection of entries from X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, indicates that there was little, if any bad blood as Peretz left his former team.

"It doesn't matter if he will be first, second or fourth goalkeeper," wrote X user RahamimGuy. "This jump from the Israeli league to freaking FC Bayern is something my mind can't grasp."

Still, there are some who are already questioning whether he's doing himself and his career a favor by moving to the Bayern bench.

"In my eyes: a sexy transfer, but one that won't do him any good short term, maybe in the far future," wrote X-User Mxalp3000.

Daniel Peretz
Daniel Peretz drew international attention for his performances for Israel at the U21 EurosImage: Giorgi Ebanoidze/DeFodi Images/picture alliance

U21 Euros penalty killer

Peretz, who has German as well as Israeli citizenship due to his mother's heritage, attracted attention with good performances at the U21 Euros. He made numerous saves in the preliminary round match against Germany, including two penalty kicks. In the quarterfinal against hosts Georgia, Peretz made the difference by saving three penalties in a shootout.

"You could say penalties are my thing," the goalkeeper said afterwards.

In the semifinal against eventual tournament winners England, Peretz was ruled out due to yellow cards. Israel lost 3-0.

Peretz' possible move to Bayern was such a big topic in Israel this summer, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got into the act.

"By the way, we are also looking into delivering Daniel Peretz for the German defense system," the premier said after a deal was reached for Israel to deliver its Arrow 3 air defense system to Germany.

15th Israeli in the Bundesliga

Peretz is just the 15th Israeli to sign for a Bundesliga club. The first was Shmuel Rosenthal, signed by Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1972. The international, who made 13 Bundesliga appearances for the "Foals" under their legendary coach Hennes Weisweiler, was the first Israeli ever to play professionally in Europe.

Almog Cohen made the most Bundesliga appearances of any Israeli player, playing a total of 109 times in the first division for Nuremberg and Ingolstadt between 2010 and 2017. He is followed by Munas Dabbur, who made 84 appearances for Hoffenheim between his signing in 2020 and his departure this summer.

This article was translated from German.