Name: Leo Gewertz
Team: Inter Aliyah A
Originally from: São Paulo, Brazil
Favourite Team: Corinthians
Football Idols: Iker Casilas
Interesting Fact: Leo first played for Inter Aliyah in the summer of 2018, when the recently created Inter B played in pre-season ahead of its first year as a club. He impressed so much that when he made Aliyah a couple of years later, he was recruited to join the Liga Gimmel team, where he's played every since!
''I have been playing football my entire life. Brazil is football crazy so it makes sense that I've played since a young age; some of my favourite memories are playing in school with my friends.
''Since I am part of triplets, one of us had to be in goal when we played football together, so that’s how I started playing and enjoying the position. I've pretty much been a goalkeeper ever since, but I can also fill in as a central defender, although I've yet to play a Liga Gimmel game outside of the goal yet, just waiting for my chance!
''I came to Israel with my wife looking for a better quality of life and conditions for us. Brazil is a beautiful country with amazing people and culture, but the security is a huge issue there and we decided to come here for our future.
''I first came here on a Masa program in 2017 and later made Aliyah once we came to decision that we wanted to live our lives here. I am now living in Netanya and working in a marketing company.
Leo (top row, second from right) prior to a Liga Gimmel game this season
''When I was initially in Israel, a British guy on my Masa program told me about Inter Aliyah and I played in goal for Inter B that summer. When I made the permanent move to Israel it was obvious that I would continue playing for the club.
''There are many other Brazilians in the club as a whole but last season we were 7 just in the Liga Gimmel team alone. I feel proud of our representation but also it shows the uniqueness of Inter Aliyah that we are so many like-minded Olim together in the same place.
''Inter Aliyah gives us, Olim, the opportunity to play here in Israel with people from similar backgrounds, this makes us feel more comfortable and help us adapt to the new country.
''I've made many important friendships through Inter Aliyah, which goes to show why this team has become a part of my life in Israel.