Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Yossi Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun

Overview
Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun (born 5 May 1980) is an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i international footballer who plays for Arsenal on loan from Chelsea.

Benayoun plays as an attacking midfielder
Midfielder
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...

, often occupying the space just behind the striker. In Israel, he is sometimes nicknamed "The Diamond from Dimona". He is also the captain of the Israeli national team
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, controlled by the Israel Football Association .Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Yisrael National Team during British Mandate...

. Benayoun is of Moroccan Sephardic origin, which allowed him to acquire Spanish citizenship during his time there.

Jason Burt writing for The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

described Benayoun's youth years: "aged nine and he was spotted as a footballing talent.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Yossi Benayoun'
Start a new discussion about 'Yossi Benayoun'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun (born 5 May 1980) is an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i international footballer who plays for Arsenal on loan from Chelsea.

Benayoun plays as an attacking midfielder
Midfielder
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...

, often occupying the space just behind the striker. In Israel, he is sometimes nicknamed "The Diamond from Dimona". He is also the captain of the Israeli national team
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, controlled by the Israel Football Association .Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Yisrael National Team during British Mandate...

. Benayoun is of Moroccan Sephardic origin, which allowed him to acquire Spanish citizenship during his time there.

Early years


Jason Burt writing for The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

described Benayoun's youth years: "aged nine and he was spotted as a footballing talent. Aged 11 and the talent was labelled a genius. By 13, his face appeared on the front of magazines in Israel". Benayoun started his career aged nine with Hapoel Be'er Sheva. To attend training, he regularly hitchhiked the 60 km roundtrip with his father.

After making a name for himself, he was scouted by Ajax. They invited the 15-year-old Benayoun and his family to the Netherlands. By his 16th birthday, he was the Ajax youth team's highest scorer and best player, and Ajax duly offered Benayoun a four-year professional
Professional
A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialised set of tasks and to complete them for a fee. The traditional professions were doctors, lawyers, clergymen, and commissioned military officers. Today, the term is applied to estate agents, surveyors , environmental scientists,...

 contract. However, Benayoun and his family had not settled very well in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, and so he turned his back on the contract and returned to Israel after just eight months.

Hapoel Be'er Sheva


At the age of 16, he was promoted to the Hapoel Be'er Sheva senior team for the 1997–98 Liga Leumit, but could not prevent the club from being relegated to Israel's second division. In the last match of the season against Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 12 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups...

, Benayoun got a penalty kick in the 90th minute. Haifa's goalkeeper, Nir Davidovich
Nir Davidovich
Nir Davidovich is an Israeli goalkeeper who plays for Maccabi Haifa football club and the Israeli national team.Davidovich plays as the senior goalkeeper in the Israeli national team. Davidovich suffered from 3 serious injuries but managed to recover and lead Maccabi Haifa to its 8th championship,...

, saved the shot but Benayoun scored the rebound to give his team the win. However, their relegation rival had won their match, meaning that his team would be relegated nonetheless. Seconds after scoring, while celebrating the winning and what he thought to be a league survival goal, Benayoun found out about the relegation and burst into tears. Benayoun finished as the league's joint fourth-leading goalscorer that season, with 15 goals in 25 appearances.

Maccabi Haifa


After that season, Benayoun moved to Maccabi Haifa in a deal signed by Ya'akov Shahar
Ya'akov Shahar
Ya'akov Shahar is an Israeli businessman best known for his ownership of Maccabi Haifa F.C..Before he went into business, Shahar played football for the youth team of Sektzia Nes Tziona and was about to play for the senior side but suffered a serious injury.-Holdings:Techtium Ltd...

 (Maccabi Haifa's president) and Eli Zino (the former Be'er Sheva president), and it was agreed that the two clubs would share the profits from selling Benayoun to a European club.

In 1998, under the guidance of Dusan Uhrin
Dušan Uhrin
Dušan Uhrin is a Czech and Slovak football coach and former player. He was the coach of Slovan Bratislava...

 and Daniel Brailovsky
Daniel Brailovsky
- As a player :An attacking midfielder and striker, Brailovsky was born in Buenos Aires, and after playing amateur football at Jewish clubs, Brailovsky was brought to Montevideo for a trial at Peñarol. Under the guidance of coach Roque Máspoli, Brailovsky became part of the team that won the 1978...

, Benayoun and Haifa reached the quarterfinals of the Cup Winners' Cup, and he scored a late equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain and also against SV Ried
SV Ried
SV Ried is an Austrian association football club from Ried im Innkreis. The team plays its home matches at the 7,680 capacity Keine-Sorgen Arena. The club currently plays in the Bundesliga after winning promotion from the Erste Liga in the 2004/05 season...

 in a 4–1 victory.

Benayoun also scored 16 goals in 29 matches for Haifa in the 1998–99 Liga Leumit, finishing the season as the equal eighth leading goalscorer for his team

In 1999, he confronted his manager Eli Cohen, when Benayoun allegedly refused to be substituted during a match. This incident, plus a bad month for the club, ultimately caused Cohen's resignation. In the first ever Israeli Premier League of 1999 to 2000, (this league replaced the Liga Leumit which then became the second tier of club football), Benayoun scored 19 goals in 38 matches for Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 12 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups...

, and was the league's third highest goalscorer.

In the 2000–01 season under the guidance of Avram Grant, Benayoun led Haifa to a first championship after seven years and was chosen as the MVP
Most Valuable Player
In sports, a Most Valuable Player award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests...

 of the season, after amassing 13 goals in 37 matches. Another successful season placed him as the league's equal sixth highest goalscorer.

The next season, Benayoun helped Maccabi Haifa win another championship, despite suffering from an injury in the beginning of the season. When he returned to play, he combined well with Đovani Roso, Raimondas Žutautas
Raimondas Žutautas
Raimondas Žutautas is a former Lithuanian footballer and former Lithuanian national football team head coach.He is the only Lithuanian player to score two goals in the UEFA Champions League. In 2002 while playing for Maccabi Haifa, he scored a goal against Manchester United...

, and Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Yakubu Aiyegbeni
Yakubu Aiyegbeni , generally known simply as Yakubu, is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a striker for Blackburn Rovers and the Nigerian national football team. His nickname is "The Yak".-Early career:...

 to win the championship. In his last season with Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 12 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups...

, Benayoun scored 7 times in 33 matches

Benayoun made 130 appearances for Haifa, scoring 55 goals.

Racing de Santander


In 2002, Benayoun moved to Racing de Santander
Racing de Santander
Real Racing Club de Santander, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in Santander, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. Founded in 1913, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio El Sardinero, with a capacity for 22,400 spectators....

 in Spain's La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

, scoring five goals in 31 matches his first season (2002–03 La Liga), seven goals in 35 matches his second (2003–04 La Liga), and nine goals in 35 matches his third (2003–04 La Liga), the latter including a hat-trick against Deportivo La Coruña
Deportivo de La Coruña
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña is a professional football club based in the city of A Coruña, Galicia; founded in 1906 and currently playing in Segunda División...

 in a 4–1 away victory.

In total, he made 101 appearances for Racing, scoring 21 goals.

Santander opted to cash in on Benayoun by selling him to his agents Pini Zahavi
Pini Zahavi
Pinhas "Pini" Zahavi is a football agent who has been involved in some of the most expensive and controversial transfer episodes of recent times....

 and Ronen Katsav for
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

3.5 million. Benayoun rejected a €5 million move to CSKA Moscow, preferring a move to England or to remain in Spain. This sparked a great deal of interest in the player with Newcastle United
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger...

, Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

, Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

, Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the area of Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. They began their current spell in the Premier League in 2001....

, Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in the city of San Sebastián, Basque Country, founded on 7 September 1909...

, and Deportivo La Coruña seen as likely suitors.

West Ham United


Newly promoted FA Premier League team West Ham United
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football club based in Upton Park, Newham, East London. They play in The Football League Championship. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current...

 completed the signing of Benayoun in July 2005 for a fee
Fee
A fee is the price one pays as remuneration for services. Fees usually allow for overhead, wages, costs, and markup.Traditionally, professionals in Great Britain received a fee in contradistinction to a payment, salary, or wage, and would often use guineas rather than pounds as units of account...

 of £2.5 million, with Benayoun signing a four-year contract. Manager Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew
Alan Scott Pardew is an English football manager and former player, currently the manager of Newcastle United....

 hailed the signing citing Benayoun's ability to 'open the door when teams sit deep' while Benayoun revealed his excitement at the opportunity to play for West Ham and in the Premiership.

The signing appeared to be a match made in heaven following Benayoun's first season in which he scored five Premier League goals and made eight Premier League assists. He made his Premiership debut for West Ham on the opening day of the 2005–06 season (13 August 2005 against Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

) in West Ham's 3–1 win. He went on to score his first Premiership goal for the club when he netted the closing goal in a 4–0 home victory over Aston Villa
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

 on 12 September 2005.

Benayoun played in the 125th FA Cup Final for West Ham against European Champions Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

. Benayoun scored five times in 34 matches in his first season at West Ham, 3 goals in 29 appearances his second.

Liverpool



Benayoun moved to Liverpool under controversial circumstances. He had verbally agreed a new four-year deal with West Ham in May 2007, only to go back on the agreement in a bid to move to Liverpool. The controversy was heightened on 10 July when the Israeli media reported that Benayoun's agent, Ronen Katsav, had agreed a deal with Liverpool which would mean Benayoun taking a lower pay than the £50,000 a week offered by West Ham in May. On 12 July, Liverpool reported on their official website that the signing of Yossi Benayoun had been completed a £5 million deal with him signing a four-year contract.

Benayoun was introduced as a Liverpool player along with Ryan Babel
Ryan Babel
Ryan Guno Babel is a Dutch football player who currently plays for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He can play as a left winger and as a striker. Babel began his career at AFC Ajax in 1998, working his way up through the youth team and into the senior squad...

 on 13 July, and was given the number 11 shirt. He made his first competitive start for Liverpool against Toulouse
Toulouse FC
Toulouse Football Club is a French association football club based in the city of Toulouse. The club was founded in 1970 and currently play in Ligue 1, the top level of French football. Toulouse plays its home matches at the Stadium Municipal located within the city. The first team is managed by...

 in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 qualifier 3rd round 1st leg. His first goal for Liverpool came on the 25 September 2007 when he scored against Reading
Reading F.C.
Reading Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Reading, Berkshire who currently play in the Championship...

 in the Carling Cup with a wonderful solo effort. Yossi scored a second hat trick against a mismatched opponent in his first season against non-league side Havant & Waterlooville in the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

, a team 122 places behind Liverpool on the league pyramid. Benayoun ended a successful first season having played 48 games scoring 11 goals in the process, including four league goals against Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is an English Premier League Association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, having been promoted from the Championship in 2005. Wigan's current spell in the Premier League is the only top flight run in the club's history.They have played at the DW...

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth F.C.
Portsmouth Football Club is an English football club based in the city of Portsmouth. The club is nicknamed Pompey. Portsmouth's home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the club's formation in 1898. The team currently play in the Football League Championship after being relegated from...

, Aston Villa, and Birmingham City
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943.They were relegated at the end of the...

.

However, his performance was not enough to prevent transfer rumours in the summer of 2008. This led to the Israeli openly announcing his intention to stay, saying: "Liverpool is good for me and it was always clear I want to stay and Liverpool wants me," Yossi was given his preferred number 15 shirt (which was occupied by Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch
Peter James Crouch is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Stoke City and the England national team.Crouch started his career as a trainee with Tottenham Hotspur...

 during the 2007–08 season but was vacated when he moved to Portsmouth
Portsmouth F.C.
Portsmouth Football Club is an English football club based in the city of Portsmouth. The club is nicknamed Pompey. Portsmouth's home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the club's formation in 1898. The team currently play in the Football League Championship after being relegated from...

) for the 2008–09 season. Benayoun had worn the number 11 during his first season at the club, but switched to his favourite number 15, the number he wore for Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 12 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups...

, Racing de Santander
Racing de Santander
Real Racing Club de Santander, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in Santander, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. Founded in 1913, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio El Sardinero, with a capacity for 22,400 spectators....

, West Ham United
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football club based in Upton Park, Newham, East London. They play in The Football League Championship. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current...

 and Israel
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, controlled by the Israel Football Association .Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Yisrael National Team during British Mandate...

.

On 6 December 2008, Benayoun scored his first goal of the 2008–09 season in Liverpool's 3–1 victory over Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

.

On 25 February 2009, Benayoun scored a header from Fábio Aurélio
Fábio Aurélio
Fábio Aurélio Rodrigues is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Liverpool of the Premier League, having previously played for São Paulo and Valencia. He plays as either a left back or left winger and has represented Brazil at Under-17 and Under-20 levels and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics...

's free-kick in the 82nd minute against Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

 at the Santiago Bernabéu
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is an all-seater football stadium in Madrid, Spain. It was inaugurated on 14 December 1947 and is owned by Real Madrid Club de Fútbol. It has a current capacity of 85,454 spectators....

 in the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 Round of 16 to give Liverpool a 1–0 win. This is probably the most important goal he has scored in his career to date. "To score in the Champions League was special. It was one of the favourite goals of my career ... I am really pleased to score at the Bernabeu but the most important thing was to get the victory", Benayoun said after the match.

Again on 4 April 2009, Benayoun came on as a substitute in Liverpool's match against Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

 to score a dramatic winner in the 94th minute. On 21 April 2009, in a home match against Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

, he scored a diving header and volleyed a late equaliser in injury time to level the scores at 4–4.

Benayoun finished his second season at Anfield in spectacular fashion; scoring a goal in each of Liverpool's last three home matches. In the 2008–09 season, Benayoun played in 39 matches, scoring 9 goals, including eight league goals against Wigan
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is an English Premier League Association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, having been promoted from the Championship in 2005. Wigan's current spell in the Premier League is the only top flight run in the club's history.They have played at the DW...

, Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

, Newcastle
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger...

, Sunderland
Sunderland A.F.C.
Sunderland Association Football Club is an English association football club based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear who currently play in the Premier League...

, Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

, Tottenham Hotspur and a brace against Arsenal. He established a regular starting position in the Liverpool team in the second half of the season.

On 6 July 2009, he signed a two-year contract extension tying him to the club until 2013.

On 12 September 2009, he scored his first Premier League hat-trick for Liverpool in a 4–0 win against Burnley
Burnley F.C.
Burnley Football Club are a professional English Football League club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were founder members of the Football League in 1888...

. It was his third Liverpool hat-trick to date after the ones against Beşiktaş
Besiktas J.K.
Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü , or simply Beşiktaş , is a Turkish sports club. The club's football team is one of the major teams in Turkey. The professional sports club, founded in 1903, is based in the Beşiktaş district in Istanbul, Turkey...

 in an 8–0 victory and against Havant & Waterlooville
Havant & Waterlooville F.C.
Havant & Waterlooville Football Club are an English football club based in Havant, Hampshire. The club formed in 1998 after a merger between Havant Town and Waterlooville, and are currently members of the Conference South. Nicknamed The Hawks, they play at West Leigh Park.-History:In 1998 Havant...

 in a 5–2 win for Liverpool. He remains the only player to score Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup hat tricks. He scored the first goal in Liverpool's 3–0 win over West Ham.

Chelsea


Benayoun signed for Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 on 2 July 2010, agreeing on a three-year deal, and keeping him with the Stamford Bridge
Stamford Bridge (stadium)
Stamford Bridge is a football stadium in Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, West London, and is the home of Chelsea Football Club. The stadium is located within the Moore Park Estate also known as Walham Green and is often referred to as simply The Bridge...

 club until summer 2013. Both clubs agreed on a fee of reported £5.5m for the transfer of the Israeli winger's services. He said, in a statement to the club's official website, "I am very excited to come to a club like Chelsea, it is a big club and I think it is a dream for every player. Hopefully we will be successful."

Benayoun made his debut against Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt is a German sports club, based in Frankfurt, Hesse that is best known for its association football club.- Club origins :...

 in a pre-season friendly before making his first competitive appearance on 8 August in a 3–1 loss against Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 in the 2010 FA Community Shield
2010 FA Community Shield
The 2010 FA Community Shield was the 88th FA Community Shield, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played at Wembley Stadium, London, on 8 August 2010, and contested by league and cup double winners Chelsea...

, by coming on for left-winger Florent Malouda
Florent Malouda
Florent Johan Malouda is a French footballer who plays as a left winger for Chelsea and the French national team.-Châteauroux:A street footballer in his teen years, Malouda gradually developed into an interesting, new football talent, able to penetrate defenses with his technical skills and...

 in the 72nd minute.On 21 August, Benayoun scored his first league goal in the 93rd minute for Chelsea in a 6–0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is an English Premier League Association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, having been promoted from the Championship in 2005. Wigan's current spell in the Premier League is the only top flight run in the club's history.They have played at the DW...

 at the DW Stadium in Wigan
Wigan
Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Douglas, south-west of Bolton, north of Warrington and west-northwest of Manchester. Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre. The town of Wigan had a total...

, Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

.
On 22 September, Benayoun ruptured his achilles during Chelsea's 4–3 League Cup
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 loss against Newcastle United
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear. The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, since the merger...

. Benayoun fully recovered from this injury and was played in the second half against Wigan Athletic on 9 April 2011.

On 26 August 2011, Benayoun offered Juan Mata his number 10 shirt. The Israeli captain said: "I decided to give Mata the number 10 – his favourite. For me it's just a number, not my lucky 15." (Florent Malouda wears number 15 for Chelsea.) Mata wore the shirt for Valencia and while skippering Spain's Under 21s in the summer and expressed his gratitude to Benayoun. "It is a very important number to me so I'm pleased to be wearing it. I want to thank Yossi," he said. Benayoun changed to wear number 30 shirt.

Abuse in Malaysia


During the 2011 Tour of Asia, in the friendly game against the Malaysia XI team, Benayoun suffered repeated booing from the Malaysian crowd each time he touched the ball. It was reported that "The occasion was soured by the repeated jeering of Israel midfielder Benayoun by the 85,000-strong crowd ..." another source reported that "Muslim-majority Malaysia is a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel. The midfielder was jeered throughout his appearance for the first half of the friendly."

Arsenal


On 31 August 2011, it was confirmed he had joined Arsenal
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 on a one year loan deal. Benayoun made his debut on 10 September 2011 coming on as a second half substitute for Andrei Arshavin against Swansea City. On 20 September 2011, Benayoun scored his first goal for Arsenal in the 78th minute of a League Cup
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 match against Shrewsbury Town
Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is an English Association football club based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, who play in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. The club was formed in 1886 and has played in all the bottom three divisions in various guises since being elected into the Football...

.

International career


Benayoun was a member of the Israel U16 team that came third in the 1996 UEFA European Under-16 Championship.

He made his senior debut for Israel
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, controlled by the Israel Football Association .Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Yisrael National Team during British Mandate...

 against Portugal
Portugal national football team
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in association football and is controlled by the Portuguese Football Federation, the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's home ground is Estádio Nacional in Oeiras, and their head coach is Paulo Bento...

 in a friendly on 18 November 1998 that resulted in a 2–0 away loss. Benayoun scored his first international hat-trick in a UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier against San Marino
San Marino national football team
The San Marino national football team is the national football team of San Marino, controlled by the San Marino Football Federation...

 at Ramat Gan Stadium on 8 September 1999. The match finished as an 8–0 win for Israel.

During the 2006 FIFA World Cup
2006 FIFA World Cup
The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six...

 qualifiers, Benayoun became the leading player of the Israeli national team
Israel national football team
The Israel national football team is the national football team of Israel, controlled by the Israel Football Association .Israel National Football is the direct successor of the Eretz Yisrael National Team during British Mandate...

 after equalizing against Cyprus
Cyprus national football team
The Cyprus national football team represents Cyprus in association football and is controlled by the Cyprus Football Association, the governing body for football in Cyprus. Cyprus' home ground is the GSP Stadium in Nicosia and the current coach is Nikos Nioplias...

 at home (in a game that ended 2–1 to Israel) and scoring twice against Switzerland
Switzerland national football team
The Swiss national football team is the national football team of Switzerland...

. In the away game in Cyprus, Benayoun assisted the winning goal after Nir Davidovich saved a crucial goal. His strong performances gave Israel a chance at qualifying for the World Cup, but they missed out on goal difference.

Just prior to the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers, Benayoun was given the captaincy of the Israeli national team. In eight appearances in the qualifiers, Benayoun has scored two goals. On 2 September 2010, Benayoun scored his second international hat-trick against Malta in a 3–1 win.

International goals


Career statistics

Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Hapoel Be'er Sheva 1997–98 25 15 25 15
Maccabi Haifa
Maccabi Haifa F.C.
Maccabi Haifa Football Club is an Israeli football team from the city of Haifa, a section of Maccabi Haifa sports club. The club has won 12 championships, 5 State Cups and 4 Toto Cups...

1998-02 130 55 130 55
Racing de Santander
Racing de Santander
Real Racing Club de Santander, S.A.D. is a Spanish football club based in Santander, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. Founded in 1913, it currently plays in La Liga, holding home games at Estadio El Sardinero, with a capacity for 22,400 spectators....

2002–05 101 21 101 21
West Ham United
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football club based in Upton Park, Newham, East London. They play in The Football League Championship. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks FC and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. In 1904 the club relocated to their current...

2005–06 34 5 6 40 5
2006–07 29 3 1 2 32 3
Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

2007–08 30 4 3 3 3 1 11 3 47 11
2008–09 32 8 1 9 1 42 9
2009–10 30 6 2 0 1 0 12 3 45 9
Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

2010–11
2010–11 Premier League
The 2010–11 Premier League was the 19th season of the Premier League since its establishment in 1992. The 2010–11 fixtures were released on 17 June 2010 at 09:00 BST. The season began on 14 August 2010, and ended on 22 May 2011...

7 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 10 1
2011–12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Arsenal (loan)
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

2011–12
2011–12 Premier League
The 2011–12 Premier League is the twentieth season of the Premier League since its establishment in 1992. The 2011–12 fixtures were announced on 17 June 2011 at 9:00 BST. The season began on 13 August 2011 and is due to end on 13 May 2012...

6 0 0 0 3 1 2 0 0 0 11 1
Career total4241181338236710485130

Club



Maccabi Haifa
  • Israeli Premier League winner: 2000–01, 2001–02
  • Israel State Cup
    Israel State Cup
    The State Cup , is a knockout cup competition in Israeli football, run by the Israeli Football Association.The State Cup was first held in 1927–28 as the Palestine Cup...

     finalist: 2002


West Ham United
  • FA Cup
    FA Cup
    The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

     finalist: 2006


Chelsea
  • FA Community Shield
    FA Community Shield
    The Football Association Community Shield is English football's annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition...

     finalist: 2010
    2010 FA Community Shield
    The 2010 FA Community Shield was the 88th FA Community Shield, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played at Wembley Stadium, London, on 8 August 2010, and contested by league and cup double winners Chelsea...

  • Premier League Asia Trophy
    Premier League Asia Trophy
    The Premier League Asia Trophy is a friendly four-team pre-season football tournament held in Asia every two years. The competition is contested by three Premier League football clubs and the home team...

    : 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy
    2011 Barclays Asia Trophy
    - Third-place playoff :- Final :-Ticket sales:Ticket prices for each match day in Hong Kong dollars were: $130 , $210 , $270 , $330 , $460 ....


See also

  • List of select Jewish football (association; soccer) players

External links