Tag Archives: israel

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs and lows in sport

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs (and lows) since the micro-blogging site changed the way we interact with sports stars

Olympics.
267,200 tweets per minute after Juan Mata scored for Spain in the Euro 2012 final victory Italy.
13.7m tweets during the Super Bowl when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.
184,535 tweets per minute when Fernando
Torres equalised against Barcelona to send Chelsea heading towards the
2012 Champions League final.

Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets


Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets

Seven Twitter controversies

Joey Barton v Dietmaar Hamann

Joey Barton seems to be ranting and raving every hour of every day, giving his outspoken opinions on everything from The FA to the Israel-Palestine dispute. But his most controversial exchange came when a row erupted with Dietmaar Hamann, after Barton tweeted about QPR’s attempt to hijack Newcastle’s bid for Loic Remy in the January transfer window.

Barton was chided by Hamann for getting involved in ‘club politics’ and he responded viciously with a string of insults and allegations about the former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City player. The pair hammered out a total of over 50 messages and Barton repeatedly told Hamann, 39, to get his ‘life in order’ and claimed the German was unprofessional.

The volatile midfielder also made reference to a gambling problem which Hamann revealed he had, in February 2012, and his family life.

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including with former team-mate Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Ashley Cole v Rio Ferdinand

After Ashley Cole reportedly gave court evidence defending Chelsea team-mate John Terry against allegations of racism towards Anton Ferdinand last summer, Rio Ferdinand, disappointed by the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict sent a tweet suggesting that Ashley Cole was a ‘Choc ice’.

Rio was subsequently fined by The FA but the controversy re-emerged in December when Ferdinand was the was left bleeding after being hit in the face with a two pence coin as he celebrated Manchester United’s winning goal against Manchester City at Eastlands.

The family of Ashley Cole took to Facebook to declare their pleasure in seeing Ferdinand hurt, with the Chelsea star’s brother Matthew is said to have posted on Facebook: ‘So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing his badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day.’ Cole’s mother Sue later added her own comment: ‘Give the fan that threw it a medal!!’

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Ashley Cole slams The FA

Ashley Cole was fined 90,000 after admitting a Football Association charge in relation to foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter.

The Chelsea and England full-back labelled the FA a 'bunch of t***s' on the social networking site after an independent regulatory commission of the governing body investigating the John Terry racial abuse case had cast doubt on Cole's evidence.

His comments were swiftly removed but the FA reacted quickly and charged Cole, whose furious outburst was retweeted more than 19,000 times and provoked large condemnation from the footballing world.

Referee Mark Halsey receives Death Threats

Referee Mark Halsey called the police in over sick Twitter taunts following his handling of the explosive clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

A number of tweets referred to Halsey's well-known battle against cancer and sickeningly referred to his wife, Michelle, who has also been fighting the disease.

Two of the most offensive comments came from a John Wareing who posted ‘I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies’ (@johnwareing1) and a John Hughes who tweeted ‘Mark Halsey should’ve died of cancer’ (@lfcjohn259).

Within minutes of the game finishing in a 2-1 defeat for Liverpool, messages were being posted on social media websites following a number of controversial refereeing decisions including a first-half red card for Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey for a rash tackle on United defender Jonny Evans.

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

10 Year Old Boy 'blacks up' as El Hadji Diouf

A ten-year-old Leeds United fan became embroiled in an online race row after he blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf.

The child posted a series of pictures on his Twitter account provoking a backlash from users who said he was racist.

But the primary school child said he did not realise it would be offensive and did it as a tribute to his footballing hero. The boy’s father was forced to take to his son’s Twitter account to defend him from accusations of racism.

He wrote: 'I want to apologise if (my son) dressing up has caused offence.'

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player - Diouf

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player – Diouf

Ryan Babel Mocks up Howard Webb in a Man United shirt

In January 2011, Liverpool winger Ryan Babel became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on the social networking site Twitter after the Football Association fined the Dutch international 10,000 for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

Carlton Cole Fined for Anti-Immigration tweets

Carlton Cole was fined 20,000 by the FA for his Twitter comments during England’s match against Ghana in March 2011.

Cole tweeted: ‘Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George’s flag!’

He later deleted the tweet and said it was a ‘joke’.

Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive of the PFA, said: ‘The commission fully accepted the mitigation put forward on Carlton’s behalf and his apology for any offence caused, however unintentionally.

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

Tal Ben Haim handed QPR trial

EXCLUSIVE: Redknapp turns to Ben Haim as defender takes up chance to win QPR move

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 3 December 2012

Tal Ben Haim could become Harry Redknapp's first signing for QPR after being invited to train with the Barclays Premier League strugglers.

The vastly-experienced Israel defender is due at QPR's training ground on Tuesday, as he bids to secure a fresh start with a new club in the next few weeks.

After reaching a settlement with Portsmouth in August, following a dispute over wages, Ben Haim has been without a club and has not played since Israel's 4-0 World Cup qualifying defeat against Russia in September.

Familiar face: Tel Ben Haim (left) could make a Premier League return with QPR

Familiar face: Tel Ben Haim (left) could make a Premier League return with QPR

He feels ready to relaunch his career, though, after training with Israeli clubs such as Maccabi Netanya and Bnei Yehuda to keep up his fitness levels.

Should he impress Redknapp with his form and physical condition, the 30-year old could be recruited in the New Year to add his experience and versatility to QPR's survival fight.

He can operate at centre-half, right-back or as sweeper, and his adaptability could prove useful to Redknapp as he tries to plot an escape for a side rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

The QPR manager may face competition from Guangzhou, though, following claims that the Chinese Super League team believe they can persuade Ben Haim to link up with former Blackburn and Everton striker Yakubu at their club after Christmas.

Israel will be safer than London for European Under 21 championships – Shimon Peres

Israel will be safer than London, claims president ahead of U21 tournament

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UPDATED:

14:38 GMT, 29 November 2012

Despite the recent conflict with Palestine, Israel's President Shimon Peres has guaranteed that the European Under 21 championship in his country next year will be safer than if it was held in London.

Peres and UEFA President Michel Platini were adamant at a meeting on Thursday that having the tournament hosted by Israel next summer was the right choice.

Peres, who is confident the event will proceed smoothly, said: 'When you come in June, it will be more secure and tranquil than a football game in London.'

Hosts: Israeli President Shimon Peres (left) shakes hands with UEFA President Michel Platini in Jerusalem

Hosts: Israeli President Shimon Peres (left) shakes hands with UEFA President Michel Platini in Jerusalem

Israel-bound: England Under 21s qualified for next summer's tournament after beating Serbia in their tempestuous play-off

Israel-bound: England Under 21s qualified for next summer's tournament after beating Serbia in a play-off

Platini said he is proud that Israel is the host, despite receiving 'many letters' opposing Israel’s bid.

On Wednesday, the Frenchman attended the Under 21 draw in Tel Aviv and a Europa League game in Haifa to assuage skeptics after a bus bombing which wounded 27 people in Tel Aviv last week.

He said: 'We are very proud to come here. Football is a beautiful thing for peace.'

Under 21s European Championships draw: England handed dream group

Pearce demands focus after England U21s handed dream draw for Euros in Israel

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UPDATED:

18:33 GMT, 28 November 2012

England’s hopes of winning next summer’s Under-21 European Championship have been given a massive boost after they were handed the dream draw.

Stuart Pearce’s side will contest Group A in Israel with the host nation, Norway and Italy. Group B contains the countries Pearce would have been hoping to avoid – Spain, Germany, Holland and Russia.

England became the first nation to qualify for four successive tournaments when they saw off Serbia in their play-off last month and the have been rewarded with the easiest of all the possible assignments they could have faced.

Easy Stuart Pearce hopes that his players will not get copmplacent after being handed a dream group at the Euros

Easy Stuart Pearce hopes that his players will not get copmplacent after being handed a dream group at the Euros

Though the venues and dates of games have yet to be confirmed, it is most likely England will begin the tournament against Israel in Tel Aviv on June 5 and, with that in mind, Pearce was quick to stress that qualification from Group A will be no foregone conclusion.

‘I thought the draw would only serve to underline what we already knew – that we will have to be at it from the off to beat the very best young teams in Europe if we are to succeed in this tournament,’ said Pearce.

‘We are in with the hosts and they'll be backed by some great home support. Norway we know all about and there was very little between us in qualifying. Italy are technically very difficult to break down and we have experience of them in the past.

‘On paper it might look easy, but it never works that way. We are excited by it.’

Pearce may point out that the task is not straightforward but privately he will be delighted. England beat Norway twice during qualification – 2-1 in Drammen last October and 1-0 in Chesterfield this September – while they hammered Israel 4-1 in a friendly at Barnsley 14 months ago.

Between the sticks: Jack Butland is likely to deputise in goals

Between the sticks: Jack Butland is likely to deputise in goals

GROUP A

Israel

England

Norway

Italy

GROUP B

Spain

Holland

Russia

Germany

Though they were beaten 1-0 by Italy in a friendly in Empoli the last time the two countries met in February 2011, England will be odds-on to qualify for the knockout stages and improve on the anti-climax they endured in the last tournament in Denmark when falling at the first hurdle.

‘We shouldn't forget that, as much as we're looking around at other teams and talking about their qualities, they'll be looking at us and probably talking in the same terms about our qualities,’ said Pearce, whose side were runners-up to Germany in Sweden in 2009.

‘After all, we are a team that has just gone through a calendar year unbeaten and without conceding a goal – few can boast a record as solid as that. That is credit to the players.

'This will be our fourth tournament, and we'll bring great experience with us in the summer, especially within my staff.

'That doesn't guarantee success of course and we'll need a strong squad, who are fit and in form. We are coming to Israel to win it.'

England could be set to host Under 21 European Championships in 2013

England could be set to host Under 21 Euros in 2013 if crisis worsens in Israel

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UPDATED:

23:44 GMT, 20 November 2012

UEFA would consider asking England to be on stand-by to host next summer’s Under 21 European Championships if the Israel crisis escalates.

The draw for Euro 2013 will be held in Tel Aviv next week and will be attended by a delegation from the FA which includes Under-21 head coach Stuart Pearce.

If the worst case scenario develops, England could end up staging the eight-nation competition in June as they lost out to Israel in the initial bidding process.

Possibility: England lost out to Israel in their bid to host Euro 2013

Possibility: England lost out to Israel in their bid to host Euro 2013

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has told England they need to start praying if they are ever to host the World Cup again.

The FA lost out to Russia in the battle to host the 2018 tournament and cannot bid to host the finals until after the 2026 event, Blatter has suggested to the London Evening Standard that only the Lord can save their dream, saying: ‘One of the gods up there, the god of football perhaps, knows. I will ask Joseph Ratzinger [the Pope].

'I will ask him. Every morning he is speaking with the Lord, so he will tell me.'

Stuart Pearce: England U21s contract extension is uncertain

Pearce admits he could face England U21s axe despite record-breaking year

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UPDATED:

15:36 GMT, 15 November 2012

Stuart Pearce has cast doubt on his long-term role as England Under 21 head coach after admitting he does not know if he will be offered a new contract.

The young Lions ended their most successful calendar year since 1991 with a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland on Tuesday. It was their sixth consecutive win, five were achieved with clean sheets, and It came after they qualified for Euro 2013 with success in Serbia.

England will warm up for the tournament in Israel with friendlies next year against Sweden and Austria at home, plus a trip to France, but whether Pearce will be in charge for the next qualification campaign, which begins next September, remains to be seen.

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

Uncertain future: Stuart Pearce does not know if he will be handed a new deal

His current deal expires after Euro 2013 and The FA have not approached him over new terms. Pearce has been in the role since 2006 and remains relaxed that the discussions have not yet started.

Young Lions' year to remember…

Feb 29 – England 4 Belgium 0

Sept 06 – Azerbaijan 0 England 2

Sept 10 – England 1 Norway 0

Oct 12 – England 1 Serbia 0

Oct 16 – Serbia 0 England 1

Nov 13 – England 2 Northern Ireland 0

‘I enjoy the job I do’ said Pearce. ‘I have been reasonably successful but not as successful as I would have liked to have been. Who knows what is in the future

‘I am contracted until next summer and that has been the case every time I have gone into a major tournament. We will see (what happens).

‘Everything has got a plus to it and that is what you have to draw out of it. Yes, I would like more contact with players at times on a daily basis and more games to test myself.

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

Annus mirabilis: The young Lions have won six matches in a row under Pearce

‘The other side of that I have is the environment I am working in. It gives me great pride to work for the FA; working with the best players in the country is a fantastic option.

‘There are pluses and minuses in both options. I am enjoying what I am doing and we will see where it takes us over the next few months.’

England have set a record in qualifying for four consecutive tournaments but they have not been crowned European Champions at this level since 1984. Pearce, however, says success in Israel will have no influence over whether he stays on as head coach.

‘It would be irrelevant,’ he said. ‘I would like to win the tournament but I have been trying to do that for the last five years. We have had a final, a semi-final and a group stage.

‘We will try and prepare the team as well as we can and give them as many options going into the summer.’

Serbia U21 0 England U21 0 (agg 0-2): Match report – Three Lions qualify for Euro 2013

Serbia U21 0 England U21 1 (agg 0-2): Mass brawl and racist chanting mars Young Lions' victory

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UPDATED:

19:59 GMT, 16 October 2012

England Under 21s claimed their place at Euro 2013 amid unsavoury scenes during their qualifying play-off in Serbia.

Players appeared to be pelted with missiles after Connor Wickham struck in injury time of the second leg to book England's trip to next summer's finals in Israel.

Supporters came onto the field, scuffles broke out and England's Danny Rose was sent off after the final whistle. He reacted angrily by kicking away the ball and appeared to indicate he had been racially abused as he left the pitch.

Scroll own for video
Brawl: Violent scenes marred the end of what was a great night for the Under 21s

Brawl: Violent scenes marred the end of what was a great night for the Under 21s

Brawl: Violent scenes marred the end of what was a great night for the Under 21s

Match facts

Serbia Under 21: Aleksic, Kosanovic, Medojevic, Gudelj, Rodic, Causic, Lazovic (Malbasic 59), Milivojevic, Ninkovic (Markovic 74), Kojic (Despotovic 59), Mudrinski.

Subs not used: Kirovski, Petkovic, Milunovic, Jojic.

Booked: Kojic, Gudelj, Medojevic, Milivojevic.

England Under 21: Butland, Smith, Dawson, Caulker, Rose, Zaha (Sterling 76), Lowe, Henderson, Ince, Sordell (Lees 62), Delfouneso (Wickham 89).

Subs not used: Amos, Bennett, McEachran, Townsend.

Sent off: Rose (90).

Booked: Rose,Caulker,Smith,Zaha,Delfouneso.

Goal: Wickham 90.

Attendance: 10,000

Referee: Huseyin Gocek (Turkey).

Steve Wigley, one of the England coaching staff, also appeared to become caught up in the trouble as the players left the field.

The ugly scenes overshadowed another fine display of defensive resilience from England.

Stuart Pearce's men recorded a sixth
clean sheet in seven outings to hold out the Serbs on a wet and windy
night at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac.

Marvin Sordell hit the post early on
but, until Wickham came off the bench to stroke into an empty net late
on, the game was largely about England's defensive effort.

Serbia had shown from the outset they
intended to be more positive than they were in Norwich last week and,
with Nikola Ninkovic coming into the side, they had a much greater
cutting edge.

But it was England who had the first serious opportunity as Sordell hit the woodwork after nine minutes.

Captain Jordan Henderson found the
Bolton forward with a superb through-ball but Sordell cracked his shot
against the near post after neatly cutting inside Slobodan Medojevic to
create space 12 yards out.

Targeted: Rose reacts to gestures from the crowd after being handed his marching orders

Targeted: Rose reacts to gestures from the crowd after being handed his marching orders

Targeted: Rose reacts to gestures from the crowd after being handed his marching orders

Serbia goalkeeper Branimir Aleksic
looked uncertain throughout but escaped punishment after spilling a
Henderson corner and was then fortunate to earn a free-kick as Craig
Dawson jumped to reach a Wilfried Zaha free-kick.

The hosts showed their danger as
Nemanja Kojic found space down the right and pulled the ball back for
the livewire Ninkovic, who shot tamely at Jack Butland.

Luka Milivojevic flashed a volley wide after a Nemanja Gudelj throw-in was only partly cleared by Steven Caulker.

Heads up: Rose and Caulker both played their part on a nervy evening in Krusevac

Heads up: Rose and Caulker both played their part on a nervy evening in Krusevac

Heads up: Rose and Caulker both played their part on a evening in Krusevac

Serbia went closer as Henderson's
headed clearance from Darko Lazovic's free-kick found its way to
Ninkovic at the far post but his shot went across goal and wide.

Aleksic had another lucky escape as
Dawson beat him to a Rose free-kick on the edge of the area but the
England defender could not keep his header on target.

Lazovic found room on the edge of the
England box but his attempt to curl a shot into the top corner was
easily dealt with by Butland.

Victory! England players celebrate their winner, moments before the ugly scenes unfolded

Victory! England players celebrate their winner, moments before the ugly scenes unfolded

Victory! England players celebrate their winner, moments before the ugly scenes unfolded

After a brief hold-up when one of
several flares lit by Serbian fans found its way into Aleksic's goal
area, the hosts continued to press as Ninkovic beat Adam Smith but fired
wide from distance.

Further efforts came in from Kojic and Milivojevic as Serbia ended the first half on top but Butland was not tested.

England had a scare early in the
second period as Kojic broke clear but Smith got back well to cut him
off and was harshly booked for his trouble.

Ninkovic went close again after the ball fell to him outside the area but his swirling effort was well pushed put by Butland.

Spot on: Dawson scored the winner for England in the first leg at Carrow Road

Spot on: Dawson scored the winner for England in the first leg at Carrow Road

Ninkovic turned provider as he picked
out Filip Malbasic with a fine ball but England were relieved to see the
substitute flagged offside after Ognjen Mudrinski took a needless
touch.

Thomas Ince broke clear as England
mounted a rare attack but Zaha stumbled as he latched onto his cross and
was bemused to be booked for diving.

Aleksic went forward as Serbia had a
late chance from a free-kick but England broke away through Ince, who
slid in Wickham, prompting the mayhem that followed.

Roaring success: The Young Lions are through to the Euro 2013 finals in Israel next summer

Roaring success: The Young Lions are through to the Euro 2013 finals in Israel next summer

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England Under 21s to face Serbia in play-off

Tough tie for Pearce as England U21s draw Serbia in European Championship play-off

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UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 14 September 2012

England will play Serbia in next month's qualifying play-offs for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Stuart Pearce's men beat Norway 1-0 on Monday to finish top of Group Eight with seven wins from eight matches and earn themselves one of the seven seeded berths for Friday's draw in Nyon.

Serbia, who were unseeded, won Group Four with five wins and three draws from their eight matches, which included two victories over Northern Ireland.

Tough tie England Under 21s will take on Serbia in their play-off

Tough tie England Under 21s will take on Serbia in their play-off

The two-legged play-offs will be held between October 12-16 with the winners progressing through to next summer's finals in Israel.

England, who are aiming to reach the finals for the fourth successive time, will play the first leg against Serbia at home.

England are the only team to have qualified for the previous three finals but Pearce knows his side have a fight on their hands to continue that run after being drawn against Serbia.

He said: 'It's a difficult tie for us, no doubt, but when you are down to the last 14 in Europe you know you are not going to get an easy draw.

The likes of Thomas Ince will be hoping to make their mark

The likes of Thomas Ince will be hoping to make their mark

'People would have looked at the draw and hoped for a runner-up, but the runners-up all made it to the finals last time, which shows the strength of the competition.

There are a lot of factors to consider, playing at home first, and travelling to Serbia, who are group winners.

'Whatever is said we will have to be at our best to make it to the finals. However, I'm sure anyone looking at Bowl A would not have wanted to see England come out of the hat either.'

He added: 'It's a real tough draw. They are an emerging side, and I spoke to Savo Milosevic about them and they, like us, have had a number of players move up to their senior team.

THE FULL DRAW

Spain v Denmark

Italy v Sweden

Czech Republic v Russia

Slovakia v Holland

Germany v Switzerland

England v Serbia

France v Norway

'This will be great experience for our players and the team that performs best, takes their chances and keeps 11 players on the pitch will go to Israel.'

In other matches, holders Spain, the Group 5 winners, were drawn against Denmark, who finished second behind Serbia in Group 4.

The team that Spain beat two years ago in the final in Denmark, Switzerland, were handed a daunting draw on Friday after being paired against Germany.

Germany, who beat England 4-0 in the final of the 2009 tournament, were unbeaten in their 10 group games, winning all but one, while scoring 39 times and conceding nine.

Holland, winners in 2006 and 2007, take on Slovakia.

Yossi Benayoun joins West Ham on loan from Chelsea

Yossi returns to Hammers: Benayoun signs on season long loan from Chelsea

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 31 August 2012

Yossi Benayoun has confirmed his return to West Ham from Chelsea.

The Israel international midfielder, who spent two years with the Hammers between 2005 and 2007, announced the move via his Twitter account.

'After a long and busy day I can say I had 3 offers from PL clubs..but not from Liverpool or Arsenal like some reports,” wrote the 32-year-old.

Happy Hammer: Yossi Benayoun has re-joined West Ham on loan

Happy Hammer: Yossi Benayoun has re-joined West Ham on loan

'But I`m very happy to confirm that I will join on loan to West Ham! I can`t wait to start..great club.'

Benayoun originally joined West Ham from Racing Santander on a four-year contract and played for them in the 2006 FA Cup final.

He caused some controversy, though, when he allegedly turned his back on an agreement to sign a new deal in order to move to Liverpool.

He spent three years at Anfield before moving to Chelsea in 2010, with the London club then loaning him to Arsenal last summer.

And, with opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge, the Blues have decided to release him again..

Chelsea"s Yossi Benayoun and Gael Kakuta Olympiakos targets

Olympiakos want to take Benayoun and Kakuta off of Chelsea's hands

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UPDATED:

10:49 GMT, 24 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Olympiakos want to sign Chelsea fringe players Yossi Benayoun and Gael Kakuta with cash they raised from selling Kevin Mirallis to Everton.

But the Greek side face a tough task convincing the duo to move to Piraeus.

Benayoun could net an attractive two-year deal worth 30,000 a week after tax, but he is reportedly discussing with his wife about whether to uproot their family from London.

On the move: Yossi Benayoun is likely to leave Chelsea

On the move: Yossi Benayoun is likely to leave Chelsea

The 32-year-old Israel midfielder seems surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge and spent last season on loan at Arsenal. Fulham could be an alternative destination.

Chelsea pulled out the stops to sign Kakuta from Lens in a controversial deal five years ago, but he has grown frustrated at his lack of first-team football.

Few chances: Gael Kakuta (left) has not broken through

Few chances: Gael Kakuta (left) has not broken through

However, Marseille are also very keen on the 21-year-old winger and have funds after selling Cesar Azpilicueta to Chelsea for 7million.

Lyon are also interested and Kakuta may ultimately favour a return to France if an agreement can be reached.

Olympiakos are determined to remodel their midfield after receiving 6m for Mirallis.