YOSSI MIZRAHI applauded the 17-year-old blue button for the first time at FC Ashdod.
The next time the Israeli legend is found. Celtic Star, he expects to have a Scottish accent.
Mazrahi Ashdod, 67, was the coach who gave Button a big break in football as a child.
The former Israeli keeper soon saw his potential and was not surprised when he won a move. Celtic In 2013.
After more than eight years, Park Head’s tall buttons will be lined up for their home nation against their adoptive country.
Mazrahi expects a great performance from a player he considers the most intelligent.
And he insists that Button’s long Celtic career is proof that he has the mindset to handle the big stage.
Mazrahi said. Sun Sport.: “You need the right character and personality to play for a big foreign club for a long time.
“Button was always talented. I remember the first time I saw him and I knew he could have a good career.
“We gave him a chance in the top Israeli league in Ashdod and he did very well for us as a midfielder.
“A lot of clubs wanted Button, but Celtic was a good move for him. Eight years later, he’s still there. So far he must have been part of Scottish!
“But I need to congratulate him on staying there for so long because it is never easy to move to a new country as a young player.
“He was only 21 when he signed and now he’s a big part of Celtic. Button has done a great job.
“I don’t watch a lot of Celtic games, but I know he has won many trophies over the years and played in major European games.
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“It just shows you that talented young players can achieve great things when given the opportunity.”
Israeli boss Willie Rotten Steiner has defensive issues for Saturday. Hampden The collision and the button are assured of a start at the heart of the defense.
Mazrahi did not envision the 29-year-old’s future, but said Button could be the leader of his country.
He thinks calm heads will be important in Glasgow and he sees the comfort of buttons as a great asset.
“I liked Button as a midfielder and I know he still plays for Celtic there sometimes,” said Mazrahi.
“But he has played a lot of games as a defender and that’s not a problem for him.
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“Button has always been a really smart footballer. He was smart and he understood the game.
“He is calm on the ball and Israel will need that experience in defense on Saturday.
“Scotland will come and attack, so the manager will look to lead his senior players.”
Mazrahi is a goal-keeping legend for Better Jerusalem and won nine caps for Israel between 1979 and 1981, two of them against Scotland in World Cup qualifiers as Joachim Stein’s star-studded side proved to be very strong.
Kenny Dalglish scored the lone goal in Tel Aviv, while two John Robertson penalties and a strike by Dewey Parwan sealed Hampden’s 3-1 victory.
Despite the defeat, Mazrahi described the tour of Scotland as one of the highlights of his career.
He said: “Even 40 years later, I remember all the names. In Israel, Archie Gammel and Kenny Dalglish played. Then you had Graeme Swans, who were Jordan, John Robertson and all the other great players.
“Scotland was a strong team, but I loved the experience of playing in Hampden.
Scotland had over 60,000 supporters and I know how powerful they can be for their team.
We lost the game in Hampden but playing there was a big feature of my career.
Mazrahi expects an early Scottish attack, but says Israel has the offensive capability that will hurt Steve Clarke.
He added: “The last time the teams met was 0-0 in Hampden, before Scotland won on penalties.
“But it will be different because the Scottish fans will make a lot of noise.
“It’s a big game for both teams, but the home nation will always try to speed up the game.
“If Israel can pass and settle in the first 20 or 30 minutes, they have a great opportunity.
“Scotland have a domestic advantage and some very good players, but I like Israeli forwards.
“Munawar Suleiman, Erin Zahvi, Monas Deborah and Lyle Ibadah all have the ability to score goals.
“The manager has lost some players, but if Israel can find their rhythm, they can create problems.
“I know international football and often these big games are decided in one or two important moments.
“I believe that Israel has attacking players and if we take the ball to them, we will get a big result.”