In England it was the afternoon of Solomon, a Portuguese from Israel | international football

The law that has allowed many descendants of Sephardic Jews to have Portuguese nationality has reinforced the idea that Portugal is doing more for these people than they do for the country. It’s an open discussion. However, this Saturday, there was a Sephardic descendant who did something for Portugal – strictly speaking, for a Portuguese. Manor Solomon was launched by Marco Silva at Brighton-Fulham, with the result at 0-0. In a game totally dominated by Brighton (it was goalkeeper Leno who saved Fulham), Solomon came on in the 82nd minute and needed just over five minutes to deliver a surprising triumph to the London team, which is in sixth place, just a point of access to European competitions.

Solomon, a 23-year-old Israeli international, was one of the citizens of Sephardic Jewish descent who managed to easily obtain Portuguese nationality – an issue that has been followed up by PÚBLICO.

It is not believable that he will be able to communicate with Marco Silva in Portuguese, despite having already had to try to learn the language on his own, but what is certain is that the coach’s instructions came out perfect to the point that it was this Israeli who guaranteed Fulham another triumph in the English League.

And he scored for the second consecutive game, after last week he secured the 2-0 against Nottingham Forest, already coming off the bench.

Benfica wanted to have him

In addition to the curiosity of having Portuguese nationality, there is another interesting detail about Solomon, which is that he was forced, like most young Israelis, to carry out military service during his professional football career.

“It is one of the biggest problems for Israeli athletes and footballers in particular. It’s not easy when you turn 18, finish high school and have to go on military service in the army. You have to serve two years and eight months. It’s not easy”, explained the player to the guardianin 2020.

If some players suffer from this stop in their career, Solomon had no particular problems at this level. It was written that he was even coveted by Benfica, in 2018, and also by Manchester City, already after that period in the army. As he himself explained, he refused the English and justified the decision with the desire to play regularly, something he would not easily achieve at City.

But he would succeed at Shakhtar, who signed him from Maccabi Petah Tikva. Solomon became one of the creatives of the Ukrainian team among several Brazilian “artists”. And the Israeli doesn’t differ that much from football.

He is a creative winger, fast and a fan of one-on-ones, but perhaps with more verticality and “taste” for attacking the goal than most “Canarian” wingers. Despite having started playing as a right winger, it is on the left, in interior movements for the right foot, that he manages to make the difference.

fled the war

Solomon was champion twice with Shakhtar, but the war in Ukraine precipitated the departure of the club. He woke up one day to bombings in Kiev, fled to the Polish border and, after ten hours, managed to be taken to Israel.

“For me, it was not such a difficult situation. But I feel bad for other people who suffered more. Many of my friends, Ukrainians and Israelis, have lost their homes,” he said, quoted by The Athletic.

Fulham had already decided to hire Solomon and a deal in the order of eight million euros was agreed, but FIFA ended up deciding that foreign players in Ukraine could suspend their contracts and sign for another club. And the measure came just in time for Fulham to save eight million euros.

He received the player “for free” and will have him at least until June. Afterwards, Solomon could return to Shakhtar, for the last six months of his contract, or there could be an agreement between the English and the Ukrainians so that the player does not leave London.

If Solomon continues to score as he has in the past two weeks after a hazy start to the season due to a serious injury, there’s no reason why Fulham shouldn’t be keen to keep the Israeli. And he will be another Portuguese with a future in the English League.

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