Shechter with Beitar Jerusalem in 2016
|Full name||Itay Menachem Shechter|
|Date of birth||22 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Ramat Yishai, Israel|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Maccabi Tel Aviv|
|2001–2005||Hapoel Nazareth Illit|
|2005–2006||Hapoel Nazareth Illit||27||(4)|
|2009–2011||Hapoel Tel Aviv||45||(26)|
|2011–2013||1. FC Kaiserslautern||23||(3)|
|2012–2013||→ Swansea City (loan)||18||(1)|
|2013–2014||Hapoel Tel Aviv||16||(7)|
|2014||→ Nantes (loan)||11||(0)|
|2018–||Maccabi Tel Aviv||34||(8)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 June 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 January 2016
Shechter was born in Ramat Yishai, Israel, to a family of Ashkenazi Jewish (Romanian-Jewish) descent. As a senior footballer, Shechter attended Torah classes twice a week, and also puts on Tefillin every morning.
Early career in Israel
Shechter started his career in the Hapoel Haifa youth team where in 1999–2000 he won the Israeli Youth Cup at the age of 13.
One year later, Shechter moved to the youth club F.C. Emek Izra'el and helped the club promote in four seasons from the fourth league to the first league in youth football. Three years after moving to Emek Izra'el, the youth club was joined to the youth club of Hapoel Nazareth Illit, which played in the Israeli Premier League at the same season, and the new club was renamed Hapoel Nazareth Illit/Emek Izra'el. Shechter was eventually promoted to the first team of Hapoel Nazareth Illit in the Israeli Premier League.
His first game in the Israeli Premier League was on 29 August 2005 during Nazareth Illit's 1–2 defeat to F.C. Ashdod, when he came on as a substitute. He scored his first goal in Nazareth Illit first team against Maccabi Netanya in a 3–1 loss in the Israeli Premier League, scoring the only goal for his club in this game.
Shechter has made 10 appearances for the Israel national under-21 football team, was capped several times at youth level. His first appearance in the U-21 team was on the losing side to Cyprus, losing 2–1 in a friendly game, Shechter scored the only goal for the Israeli team in this game.
In 2006, Shechter moved to Maccabi Netanya because he wanted to move to a bigger club than Nazareth Illit, which had just been relegated to Liga Leumit. While at the club, Shechter would soon play in the important member in the first team, due to his goal and assist. In his three season with Maccabi Netanya, he would score twenty-one in eighty-three appearance. In addition, Shechter soon attracted interest from clubs not only from domestic, but also clubs from abroad like Standard Liège and Club Brugge.
Hapoel Tel Aviv
He scored on his debut with Hapoel Tel Aviv in UEFA Europa League 3–1 win against IFK Göteborg in the third qualifying round. He made his league debut for the club, on the opening game of the season, in a goalless draw against Beitar Jerusalem. One month later, on 21 September 2009, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 2–1 loss against Maccabi Haifa; followed up with his second and third goal on 4 October 2009, in a 3–0 win against his former club, Maccabi Netanya. In the Europa League group-stage match, he scored two goals and provided two assist in two consecutive games against Hamburger SV and Rapid Wien. Since in his first season, he scored in consecutive games, at least three times. He also scored a hat-trick, in a 7–1 win over Hapoel Petah Tikva on 21 November 2009. His season ended in positive with the club when the club won the league.
On 18 August 2010, Shechter made headlines during a UEFA Champions League playoff match against Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, when he celebrated a goal by pulling a crocheted Hapoel Tel Aviv kippah from his sock and placing it on his head. The display earned him a yellow card and garnered attention in Israel, where the gesture was widely interpreted as a triumphant gesture against the Nazi history of Austria's past. This interpretation was questioned when it was discovered that the head covering was given to him by a cancer patient and Hapoel Tel Aviv fan. On 20 October 2010, Shechter scored his first Champions League goal, in a 3–1 loss against Schalke 04. Soon after that, Shechter's playing time significantly decreased, due to injuries; the first being his thigh muscle in late August; his second another thigh muscle in October; his third a dislocated shoulder and the last was another dislocated shoulder, which ruled him out for the rest of the season, during a match against Hapoel Acre.
On 7 July 2011, Shechter's transfer to 1. FC Kaiserslautern from the Bundesliga was completed. The fee was €2,500,000 and he signed a four-year contract with the club, where he was soon joined with compatriot Gil Vermouth. He made his debut for the club, on the opening game of the season, in a 2–0 loss against Werder Bremen. Then, the next game, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 1–1 draw against Augsburg. However, later in the season, he soon struggled to score goals, having only scored four times in all competitions and it went worse when he lost his first team place, due to a suspension against Hannover 96 on 18 December 2011, causing him to miss two games. Another is suffering two injuries: calf muscle strain and muscular problems. After a 4–0 loss against Mainz, Shechter was subjected to anti-Semitic insults, which caused nationwide outrage and condemnation. At the end of the season, the club was relegated.
On 15 August 2012, Swansea City of the English Premier League signed Shechter on a one-year loan deal from Kaiserslautern. After being included in the bench as an unused substitute against Sunderland on 1 September, he made his debut for the club two weeks later, coming on as a substitute for Leon Britton in the 79th minute of a 2–0 defeat at Aston Villa. On 3 November, he contributed an assist for Pablo Hernández, in a 1–1 draw against Chelsea.
Shechter was an unused substitute on 24 February 2013 as Swansea won the League Cup with a 5–0 win over Bradford City in the final at Wembley Stadium. On 7 May, he scored his first Premier League goal and the only goal of his loan, in a 3–2 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium. At the end of the season, Shechter paid tribute to the club for treating him very well. However, upon making his return to the club, Shechter revealed he was never part of the squad at Swansea City.
Return to Hapoel Tel Aviv
On 13 June 2013, Shechter returned to Hapoel Tel Aviv, exactly two years after he left for Kaiserslautern. Hapoel had to pay Kaiserslautern a mere €500,000 transfer fee, €2 million less than what the German club paid for his services just two years before. He previously went to training with the club in February after being barred from going to Dubai, due to United Arab Emirates’ policy on visits by Israelis.
Nantes and Maccabi Haifa
On 30 January 2014 he was loaned to Nantes, joining the French club on a permanent basis on 22 May, on a two-year deal. During his time at the club he scored twice in a 4–0 Coupe de la Ligue win over Laval in October, and his only Ligue 1 goal came the previous month to decide a 2–1 home win over Nice; however, on 2 February 2015 he returned to Israel and signed a 4 years deal with Maccabi Haifa.
Following a win against IFK Göteborg in the Europa League in 2009, Shechter, along with Brazilian teammate Douglas da Silva, was arrested at Gothenburg airport over rape allegations, but was soon released from custody. The prosecutor allowed the pair go as there was no evidence to justify keeping them in jail. Prosecutors then dropped charges against Shechter, while Douglas' case continued. Eventually, police soon dropped the charges against the pair.
- As of 6 July 2016
|2005–06||Hapoel Nazareth Illit||26||3||0||0||8||1||–||34||4|
|2009–10||Hapoel Tel Aviv||34||22||5||4||2||2||11||3||52||31|
|2011–12||1. FC Kaiserslautern||23||3||3||1||–||–||26||4|
|2012–13||Swansea City (loan)||18||1||1||0||1||0||–||20||1|
|2013–14||Hapoel Tel Aviv||16||7||1||0||0||0||4||1||21||8|
Scores and results listed Israel tally first, score column list each Shechter goal
|1||9 October 2010||Ramat Gan Stadium||1–2||1–2||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|2||12 October 2010||Karaiskakis Stadium||1–2||1–2||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying|
|3||10 August 2011||Stade de Genève||3–4||3–4||Friendly|
|4||26 May 2012||UPC-Arena||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|5||7 September 2013||Ramat Gan Stadium||1–1||1–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA)|
Maccabi Tel Aviv
- "Israeli Sports". Jewish Sports Review. 8 (87): 20. September–October 2011.
- "Brum make check on Shech". The Sun. 19 February 2010.
- Botz, Lee (28 October 2009). איתי שכטר: "נולדתי למשחקים כאלה" [Itay Shechter: "I Was Born For Matches Like These"]. Yedioth Ahronoth (in Hebrew). Ynet.co.il. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
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- "Soccer / Europa League third qualifying round / Hapoel Tel Aviv gets a taste of Swede success against Goteborg". Haaretz. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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- "Double Vermouth gives Tel Aviv its third trophy in five years". Haaretz. 12 May 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Soclof, Adam (22 August 2010). "Soccer kipah stunt draws yellow card, Israeli attention". JTA. blogs.jta.org. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- "The man behind the dome of the Schechter: "warmed my heart"" [האיש מאחורי הכיפה של שכטר: "חימם את לבי"] (in Hebrew). Ynet Sport. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Round-up: Messi double puts Barcelona top". BBC Sport. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Soccer / Guttman chastised for pre-Salzburg 'panic' outburst". Haaretz. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Soccer / Resting its big guns, Hapoel Tel Aviv is ousted from tourney". Haaretz. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Soccer / Campaign ends on disparate note". Haaretz. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Soccer / Hapoel TA go top in style, but lose Shechter to injury". Haaretz. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Soccer / Report: Italian side makes offer for striker Shechter". Haaretz. 28 December 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Shechter claims Celtic approach". Sky Sports. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Shechter set for Kaiserslautern". Sky Sports. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Lucky point for Hannover in Kaiserslautern" [Glücklicher Punkt für Hannover in Kaiserslautern]. Bild (in German). 18 December 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "FCK wants to pursue racism incidents" [FußballFCK will Rassismus-Vorfälle verfolgen lassen] (in German). Zeit Online. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Kaiserslautern: Anti-Semitic slogans against Israeli" [Lautern: Antisemitische Parolen gegen Israeli] (in German). RP Online. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Asayag, Ofira (15 August 2012). "Shechter signed in Swansea City" (in Hebrew). ONE. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
- Pope, Bruce (15 September 2012). "Aston Villa 2-0 Swansea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Swansea ruin blues' bid to stay in top spot". Wales Online. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- McNulty, Phil (24 February 2013). "Bradford 0-5 Swansea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Wigan 2–3 Swansea". BBC Sport. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Departing Swansea City striker Itay Shechter thanks fans for Premier League memories". Wales Online. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Itay Shechter reflects on tough Swansea spell after sealing Hapoel Tev Aviv move". Sky Sports. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Swansea flop joins Hapoel Tel Aviv". Talksport. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Israeli soccer player barred from entering Dubai". Times of Israel. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "איתי שכטר יושאל עד לסוף העונה לנאנט הצרפתית". One. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Etay Shechter officiellement Nantais !" [Itay Shechter officially a Nantes player!] (in French). FC Nantes. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Etay Shechter quitte le FC Nantes" [Itay Shechter leaves FC Nantes] (in French). FC Nantes. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- "Israeli soccer players released from custody following Sweden rape allegations". Haaretz. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Hapoel players return home after questioning by Swedish cops on suspicion of attempted rape". Haaretz. 2 August 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Sports Shorts". Haaretz. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Sports Shorts". Haaretz. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2013.