Yossi Benayoun


BornMay 5, 1980


Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun is an Israeli international footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for West Ham United, on loan from Chelsea. Nicknamed as "The Diamond from Dimona", he proved to be a true diamond in the rough. He is also the captain of the Israeli national team. Benayoun was all of nine when he started his career and by the time he was thirteen, his face graced many a magazine cover. He was scouted by Ajax and soon became the Ajax youth team's highest scorer and best player at the wee age of 16. Following this achievement, Benayoun was offered a four-year professional contract by the team. He was then promoted to the Hapoel Be'er Sheva senior team for the 1997–98 Liga Leumit where he cleaned up as league's joint fourth-leading goalscorer that season, with 15 goals in 25 appearances. After that, Benayoun moved to Maccabi Haifa and it was agreed that the two clubs would share the profits from selling Benayoun to a European club. In 2000, Benayoun led Haifa to a first championship after seven years and was lauded as the Most Valuable Player of the season, after scoring 13 goals in 37 matches. On 31 August 2012, after a number of stints spanning ten years in various other clubs, Benayoun signed on-loan for West Ham United for the 2012–13 season.
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