The greatest pre-season goal? Yossi Benayoun's masterpiece for Chelsea

Yossi Benayoun is one of the more underrated footballers from the Premier League’s modern era.

The Israeli playmaker first touched down on English shores in 2005, signing for West Ham United from Racing Santander.

Benayoun’s performances in east London impressed those in power at Liverpool and the Merseyside outfit acquired his services for a £5 million fee in the summer of 2007.

The silky midfielder enjoyed a pretty successful three-year spell with the Reds, finishing with 29 goals and 19 assists from 134 appearances across all competitions.

Benayoun even netted hat-tricks for Liverpool in both the Champions League and Premier League.

Perhaps the only downside to his time in English football was the fact he failed to make grade at Chelsea after joining them in 2010.

Benayoun played just 24 games for the Blues. He was loaned to both Arsenal and West Ham during his time on the club’s books.

Yossi Benayoun in action for Arsenal
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 05: Yossi Benayoun of Arsenal celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium on May 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

But while the the 42-year-old ultimately failed to become a first-team regular at Chelsea, he did at least produce one moment of absolute magic during their 2011 pre-season campaign.

In a match against Wycombe Wanderers at the Cobham training facility, Benayoun scored a goal so outrageous that the footage looks as if it was taken straight from FIFA Street.

The former Israel international received a pass near the edge of the box, but it was slightly behind him so he had to improvise – and improvise he did.

Benayoun elegantly juggled the ball twice using his heel, before lobbing the Wycombe goalkeeper with a third back-heel.

Chelsea sign Raheem Sterling (Football Terrace)

If the goal was scored in a competitive setting, it would be revered as one of the greatest ever…

Video: Benayoun’s crazy goal for Chelsea in 2011 pre-season

Fan reaction

What on earth is that sorcery?!

Yes, it was only Wycombe in a meaningless pre-season friendly, but take nothing away from Benayoun – it was a footballing masterpiece.

And the attempted save from the goalkeeper, which saw him humorously faceplant into the net, deserves a shout out too.

Benayoun brought an end to his English adventure in 2014 after a season with Queens Park Rangers.

Yossi Benayoun with Queens Park Rangers
WATFORD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Yossi Benayoun of QPR in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Queens Park Rangers at Vicarage Road on December 29, 2013 in Watford, England, (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

He rejoined Maccabi Haifa, a club which he scored 70 goals and assisted a further 55 across two spells.

Benayoun called time on his playing days in 2019 following a brief stint at Beitar Jerusalem.

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