Yosef Shai "Yossi" Benayoun (Hebrew: יוסף שי "יוסי" בניון, born 5 May 1980) is an Israeli professional footballer who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv and captained the Israeli national team. He plays as an attacking midfielder, often occupying the space just behind the striker. Born in Dimona, he is sometimes nicknamed "The Diamond from Dimona" in Israel.
Benayoun played for Hapoel Be'er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa before moving to Racing de Santander in Spain. Three years later he moved to the Premier League with West Ham United, and later Liverpool. In 2010, he signed for Chelsea, where he was used rarely, being loaned to Arsenal and back to West Ham, but nonetheless won the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League. After that, he was released by the club and spent a season in the Football League Championship with Queens Park Rangers before returning to Maccabi Haifa.
A full international since 1998, Benayoun is Israel's most capped player of all time with 97 caps, and their joint second top scorer with 24 international goals.Close