Premiership Player Profile – Yossi Benayoun
This is our 17th Premier League Player Profile; we are currently three blogs away from covering all Twenty Premier League sides. Today it’s Liverpool‘s winger Yossi Benayoun…
Before Liverpool signed Benayoun for a fee of £5 million, the Israeli international was a huge hit, in the Israeli Premier League. Benayoun started out for Hapoel Be’er Sheva where he massed up fifteen goals in just 25 appearances. His blistering record caught the attention of one of Israel’s well known sides, Maccabi Haifa. Benayoun featured 130 times for the Greens, as he scored 55 times over a five year period for Haifa. Yossi Benayoun also claimed many honours while with Haifa, as in the season 2000/2001, Benayoun was named the most valuable player in the Israeli Premier League.
The winger decided to switch forces, as he signed for La Liga side Racing Santander in the year 2002, while with Racing, Benayoun appeared 101 times and scored 21 goals with the Spanish club. However his impressive displays for Racing caught the attention of West Ham and in July 2005, Benayoun signed a £2.5 million deal with the Hammers. Over a two season period, Yossi was able to net seven goals in the English Premier League for West Ham. However Benayoun decided to switch clubs, as he completed a move to Liverpool. So far in his Reds career, Benayoun has scored seventeen times for Liverpool in the Premier League, and this season he is on course for his most successful campaign with a Premier League side.
This season has seen Yossi Benayoun turn into one of Liverpool’s better players, as he has performed very well throughout the 09/10 Premier League season. On the other hand before the current campaign even started, Benayoun signed a new two year deal with the Reds, as his contract extension has been upped until the year 2013. Anyway, the Israel International is currently the third highest scorer for Liverpool this season. Yossi Benayoun has scored seven times in all competitions for Liverpool, two of which have come in the UEFA Champions League, the tournament which Liverpool were knocked out of in the Group Stages.
Benayoun’s first goals of this season came in a 4-0 home triumph against Premier League newcomers Burnley. Benayoun scored a hat-trick in that game, while Dirk Kuyt bagged the other goal for Liverpool. Yossi’s other Premier League goals were scored against, Man City and Wolves. However like I mentioned above, the Liverpool star has scored twice in Europe this season, however both of his goals came in 2-1 losses, one of which was against Lyon and the other being against Italian side Fiorentina.
For the time being, Yossi Benayoun has a very decent stat alongside his name. Benayoun is the only player to have scored hat-tricks, in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. Liverpool have struggled this season, however the fans have been impressed with Benayoun, as he has established himself as a key player for the Reds. Currently though, Liverpool will have to cope with the absence of Yossi Benayoun, as he has been ruled for up to four weeks with a rib injury.
Moving on from club football, Benayoun is currently the fifth highest scorer of all time for his international side Israel. The Israeli winger is known as “The Diamond” in his home country, plus Benayoun has featured for Israel since the year 1998. Benayoun has scored nineteen times for The Blue and Whites, plus he has scored some notable goals. Benayoun scored, Israel’s only goal in the 2-1 loss to Portugal in a friendly match in the year 2000, plus he netted a hat-trick against San Marino a year earlier. Yossi Benayoun’s recent form in the 2010 World Cup qualification was pretty impressive, as he scored three times in the qualification rounds, once against Switzerland, once against Luxembourg and the other being against Latvia. Overall Benayoun is a vital player for Liverpool, he has been one of the best players this season for the Reds, and hopefully he can continue his form when he hits full fitness, after his injury.
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