Soccer-Maccabi Tel Aviv name Jordi Cruyff as sports director

JERUSALEM, April 13 Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:38pm BST

JERUSALEM, April 13 (Reuters) - Maccabi Tel Aviv have named former Dutch international Jordi Cruyff as sports director and he will start work at the end of the season, the club said on Friday.

The ex-Manchester United and Barcelona forward, who is leaving as director of football at Cypriot club AEK Larnaca, will be presented at a news conference on Sunday.

"Jordi will work closely with the coaching staff and will make a valuable contribution in strengthening the club," said Maccabi in a statement.

One of Cruyff's first tasks will be to help appoint a new coach. The team have been guided by caretaker Nir Levin since Motti Iwanir was sacked in December.

Maccabi are Israel's richest club but Canadian owner Mitch Goldhar's $35 million investment on players ahead of the start of the season has failed to yield the desired results.

They are sixth in the table and face a fight to finish in the top four to earn a place in next season's Europa League.

"Maccabi are a special club with a great tradition and I am convinced that with hard work and the right decisions we will develop something the club and the fans will be proud of," said Cruyff, 38, son of former Dutch great Johan.

Jordi won nine caps for his country. (Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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