Yossi Benayoun completes his move to Maccabi Tel Aviv after his performance for Haifa in the last campaign.
The 36-year-old midfielder to sign a one-year deal with the yellow-and-blue, after passing the medical with the Israeli club.
The Liverpool legend spent the last two seasons at Maccabi Haifa and has helped the club to their first title in five years and first State Cup in 18 years. However, Benayoun left the club in a bitter way after revealing that Haifa had asked him to leave last September following the side’s poor start to the season and the subsequent unrest in the dressing room.
The player claimed it was the club owner Jacob Shachar who asked him to go, but after speaking with coach Roni Levy the two came to an agreement that if either one were forced to leave the club the other would follow suit. Benayoun said the club treated him poorly and that informed his decision to leave. He said he already told the club since February that he was going to leave during the summer. He even told them the likely choice. After the cup final, he said:
“I came to Haifa with the intention of ending my career here, but things change in soccer. There is no other player in Israel who would have coped with what I coped with this season.”
Benayoun returned to his country after spending over a decade in Europe where he played for several clubs including West Ham United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal and others. Benayoun will likely replace outgoing striker Eran Zahavi, who has received a massive offer from Guangzhou of the Chinese league. Zahavi led the Premier League in scoring in each of the past three seasons and is likely going to agree to the big money move to China.