Yossi Benayoun has earned a recall to the Israeli national team after being selected for the squad for next week’s friendly match against Croatia.
Interim coach Alon Hazan selected the 35-year-old – his first appearance for nine months after previous manager Eli Gutman failed to call him up for any of the 2016 Euro qualifiers – who has a record 96 caps for the national team.
The former West Ham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool midfielder, who has starred for Maccabi Haifa this season, said: “I have always been proud to play for the national team, I couldn’t be happier to receive this call up.”
Almog Cohen, who plays for German Bundesliga side Ingolstadt, returns to the squad for the first time in three years, while Kenny Sayef, who plays for Belgian club Gent, is set to make his debut, after deciding not to represent USA. The 22-year-old said: “I’m happy and excited to be part of the Israel national team, the Israel national team was always my first option.”
One notable absence from the squad is defender Tal Ben Haim, who misses out for the first time in 11 years, having lost his place in the Maccabi Tel Aviv line-up.
Next Wednesday’s game takes place in Osijek, and will be Israel’s first game since the end of their disappointing Euro 2016 qualifying campaign last November, and will be their only fixture prior to their first World Cup 2018 qualifier against Italy on 5 September.