A JEWISH man with strong Merseyside connections is part of England’s coaching staff at the World Cup in Russia.
Dr Ben Rosenblatt is the strength and conditioning coach for the Three Lions.
And he helped prepare players for extra-time and penalties against Colombia in the last 16, as well as extra-time on Wednesday night, when England devastatingly crashed out against Croatia in the semi-final.
London-raised Dr Rosenblatt, who works with the squad on their physical performance and fitness, is the son of Liverpool-born lawyer Ian Rosenblatt, who was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2016 for philanthropic services to music, and the late Heather Rosenblatt, who was from Southport.
Dr Rosenblatt has been in his position for nearly two years.
He played football in London’s Maccabi League and also for Wingate and Finchley.
The 33-year-old read sport and exercise science at the University of Wales, where he also gained a PhD in sports biomechanics and training specificity.
He worked as a rehab strength and conditioning coach for the British Olympic Association, before joining Birmingham City FC as head of sports science and conditioning in 2008.
He returned to BOA a year later, as senior rehabilitation scientist, and, in 2013, moved to the English Institute of Sport, as a senior strength and conditioning coach.
It was at the institute that he helped Team GB’s women’s hockey teach to gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro.
Dr Rosenblatt is married to Coral and they have an eight-month-old son, Heath, named after Dr Rosenblatt’s mother.
Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, invited two child cancer patients from the Jewish state to join them at Wednesday’s semi-final in Moscow.
The Netanyahus, who were in Russia for a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, were told that they could invite two guests with them to the game.
The two children are 18-year-old Mika Lipsker and Alon Izraev, 13.
Mrs Netanyahu has been accompanying Mika and her family for the past nine years.
Alon’s parents emigrated to Israel from Russia, and he “really loves football,” according to Mr Netanyahu.