Former Maccabi Haifa manager Elisha Levy has been named as the new manager of the Israeli national football team.

The 58-year-old has signed a four-year deal, with the Israeli Football Association having an exit clause at the end of the World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign.

A five-man committee, comprising of IFA chairman Ofer Eini, vice chairman Tamir Gilat, former Bnei Yehuda chairman Moshe Damayo and former national team players Tzvika Rosen and Haim Revivo, selected Levy ahead of Guy Luzon, Eli Ohana, Ran Ben-Shimon and Nir Klinger.

He said: “I couldn’t be happier on this day, despite the magnitude of the responsibility placed on my shoulders. The Israel national team was, is and will forever remain the peak of the aspirations of every player and coach. As someone who has been through the entire course, known ups and downs, experienced sublime moments of joy as well as disappointments, the Israel national team is the summit of this journey, of which I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Eini said: “Elisha is a veteran coach with experience and mental toughness, which is something the national team needs,” said Eini. “I think the contract should be for four years and if he does well it might end up being for longer.”

Ahead of their first 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy on 5 September, the squad will have a training camp in Serbia between 27-31 May, before playing the Serbians in a friendly match.