Guttman: Yossi's still my No. 1

By Simon Griver, January 26, 2012
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Israel manager Eli Guttman has confirmed Yossi Benayoun will be retained as Israel captain for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Guttman completed a whistle-stop trip to the UK where he held a reconciliation meeting between Benayoun and Portsmouth defender Tal Ben Haim in London on Sunday night.

Ben Haim has had strained relations with Benayoun since he lost the captaincy in favour of the midfielder, who is on loan at Arsenal, during the failed Euro 2008 campaign.

The tension between the two England-based players was a major feature of the failed Euro 2012 qualifying campaign under Luis Fernandez.

Benayoun and Ben Haim make up ahead of qualifiers

The two players agreed to cooperate during the World Cup 2014 qualifiers which begin in September.

Earlier in the day, Guttman watched Arsenal's match against Manchester United at the Emirates. Sitting next to England boss Fabio Capello, he was disappointed to see Benayoun play no part as an unused substitute.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger met Guttman after the match and assured him that the player is fully fit, in good form and very much part of Arsenal's first team squad.

Guttman travelled to Wales on Saturday to watch Ben Haim play for Portsmouth in the 3-2 defeat at Cardiff City.

● Partizan Belgrade cancelled a 12-day winter training camp in Dubai after new manager Avram Grant was refused a visa. The Serbian champions trained in Herzliya instead.

    Last updated: 1:16pm, January 26 2012