Former Liverpool, West Ham and Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun announces retirement

Yossi Benayoun scores his first of three goals in Liverpool's record 8-0 win against Besiktas
Image: Yossi Benayoun is one of three players who have scored hat-tricks in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup

Former Premier League midfielder Yossi Benayoun has retired from professional football at the age of 38.

Benayoun, who played for Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal and QPR during his career in England, finished his career at Israeli side Beitar Jeruslaem.

He confirmed his retirement in a social media post on Thursday.

"It's important for me to thank the fans, the ones who gave me love wherever I went," Benayoun wrote on Instagram.

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"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."

Yossi Benayoun celebrates scoring the winning goal against Tottenham
Image: Benayoun made 102 international appearances for Israel

Benayoun began his career at Hapoel Beer Sheva before joining Maccabi Haifa in the first of two spells he spent with the 12-time Israeli champions.

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A move to Spanish side Racing Santander followed in 2002 before the midfielder joined West Ham three years later. Benayoun made 78 appearances over two seasons at the Hammers before a move to Liverpool.

The former Israel international scored 29 goals in 134 matches for Liverpool but left to join Chelsea in 2010. Loan spells at Arsenal and West Ham followed for Benayoun, who joined QPR as a free agent in 2013.

He spent a year at Loftus Road before returning to Israel where he played for the last five years.

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