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Yossi Benayoun Called Up For Israel

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In today's weirdest piece of news, injured Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun has been called up by Israel for the country's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Latvia and Georgia. Benayoun, who was due to resume training with Chelsea very soon, hasn't fully recovered from the Achilles tendon injury that's seen him sit out most of the season, so he's not expected to actually play (I hope). Instead, it appears that he'll be some sort of mascot:

I know Benayoun is not 100 per cent fit but he is the captain. It was sad to see him injured and just seeing him in the squad is very important.

-Luis Fernandez, Israel national team coach, via

At least, I hope he's being used as a mascot. If Benayoun does play, he'd better be 100% fit to do so, and he'd better come back 100% fit too, because I'm getting excited for his return. That Achilles injury really hurt our midfield depth this season and it's a huge shame that he's been out so long when there's a big void in the midfield creator role he could fill.

So, don't break him Isreal. Chelsea lost Michael Essien for extended periods of last year after he played partially fit with Ghana and then had his knee explode, and I think everyone is bracing themselves for a similar situation with Benayoun. This all would have been made much easier had he just been left out until he was healthy and ready to play.

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