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Yossi hangs up his boots

Filed: Thursday, 11th April 2019
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer Yossi Benayoun has announced his decision to retire from football - at the age of 38.

The Israeli midfielder, who spent two-and-a-half years at West Ham between 2005 and 2007 and made more than 100 appearances for Israel confirmed his retirement via Instagram.

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"It's important for me to thank the fans, the ones who gave me love wherever I went," said Benayoun. "I am sure that the next chapter will be challenging and no less exciting. There are moments I'll take with me for life."

West Ham confirmed the signing of Benayoun in July 2005, having paid Spanish side Racing Santander 2.5million to land the player. The Hammers also beat off a challenge from Bolton's Sam Allardyce to secure his signature.

Over the course of the next three seasons he went on to make 78 appearances for the Hammers, scoring eight goals - the most memorable of which was surely this goal against Fulham at the Boleyn Ground in a 2-0 win.

Following much speculation, and a reneged promise that he would sign an extended contract at West Ham, Benayoun joined Liverpool in a 5million switch on 12 July 2007.

"West Ham will always be in his heart but he is looking to move up a level," said his then-agent Ronan Katsev. "Everybody would be happy to play for Liverpool."

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