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Former Liverpool player Benayoun announces retirement

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Former Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham midfielder Yossi Benayoun has announced his retirement from football.

The Israeli, 38, who finished his career with Beitar Jerusalem, played 97 times for Liverpool and won the Europa League at Chelsea in 2013.

He made his Israel debut in 2008 and appeared 102 times for his country.

“It’s important for me to thank the fans, the ones who gave me love wherever I went,” Benayoun, who scored 24 times for Israel, said on Instagram.

“I am sure that the next chapter will be challenging and no less exciting.

“There are moments [from my football career] I’ll take with me for life.”

Benayoun scored hat-tricks in each of the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup during his time with Liverpool, an achievement only matched by Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and Tottenham forward Harry Kane.

The midfielder spent two years at West Ham before moving to Liverpool in 2007 in a £5m deal, staying for three seasons before switching to Chelsea. for the same price tag.

Loan spells at Arsenal and West Ham followed before he moved to Championship side Queens Park Rangers in 2013. Benayoun ended his time playing in England by signing with Israeli side Maccabi Haifa in 2014, a club he originally played for between 1998-2002.

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