Yossi: Rafa believes I can still contribute

By Simon Griver, February 8, 2013
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Yossi Benayoun says his relationship with boss Rafa Benitez is now better than ever after deciding to stay at Chelsea.

The Israel captain has been a peripheral figure since joining from Liverpool, during which time three different managers have been in charge at Stamford Bridge.

But with player and club deciding to stick during the January transfer window, Benayoun is confident he will finally get a run in the team.

He said: "We’ll only know at the end of the season if it was the right decision. I’ll be part of the squad and hope to impress every time I get an opportunity.

"It won’t be easy because we are talking about players of the highest standard but I believe in myself."

An unused substitute against Newcastle last weekend, Benayoun played for the final 13 minutes in Chelsea’s recent draw at Reading. He said: "This was my first game for three months and it was great to be back though the result was disappointing."

After signing a three-year deal with Chelsea in 2010, he was sent on loan to Arsenal by former boss Andreas Villas Boas followed by a similar deal to West Ham by Roberto Di Matteo last year, but that was cut short through injury.

Benitez asked Benayoun, 32, to stay at Chelsea though the Israeli is on record as saying that the Spaniard was the only reason he left Liverpool. "I told him to his face what I told the papers and we now have a great relationship," Benayoun said. "People forget we had three seasons together at Liverpool. He asked me to stay at Chelsea and said he feels I’ve something to contribute."

Benayoun was not selected for Israel’s friendly against Finland this week.

    Last updated: 10:57am, February 8 2013