Yossi Benayoun

Yossi Benayoun

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Yossi Benayoun

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Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun (; born May 5, 1980) is an Israeli international footballer who plays professionally for Chelsea in the English Premier League.

Benayoun plays as an attacking midfielder, 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. 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 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 contract. However, Benayoun and his family had not settled very well in Amsterdam, and so he turned his back on the contract and returned to Israel after just eight months.

Club career


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