Maccabi Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Haifa 3:0 last night at the Netanya Stadium on Matchday 29 of the Ligat Ha’Al Championship Playoffs and Yossi Benayoun was in the Starting XI for the second straight match and featured against his former club. Following the contest the veteran spoke about his feelings:
“Every match is important for us to win, we wanted to stay in the title picture and we did the job. It doesn’t matter to me who we play against, whether it’s Haifa or any other club. I just want to win. I have always said that I had a very nice and long history with Maccabi Haifa and I appreciate that but today I’m with Maccabi Tel Aviv and I want to do the best I can for my club.
On his contribution:
“I always try to give the maximum. The last few matches I’ve played in the middle of the pitch where you must work hard as well on defense and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
His style of play which features less dribbling:
“They said this a few years ago already. Who other than Messi can go by 3-4 players and put the ball in the goal. Football has changed over the past few years and the best football is the simplest, play fast and hold the ball less and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. Football has changed and so has understanding the game from what it once was. When you get older you understand even more. Once upon a time there was room for dribbling but today there is a lot more movement. I always expect to be at the top of my game and help my club. I want to take advantage of my experience.”
Earning a starting position:
“I’m in the rotation, we have a deep squad. Everyone wants to play but everyone also understands that there are plenty of good players and that we have a big squad. It doesn’t really matter who plays but that we win the matches that we have from now until the end of the season.”
On his future:
“I’m not waiting for a telephone call from anyone. What concerns me right now is the next match against Maccabi Petah Tikva. I want to continue to enjoy it as long as I feel physically fit. I want to continue to play and enjoy myself. We’ll get to the end of the season and then everyone will make their decisions. I believe that everyone will be satisfied.”
Did you believe that you would enjoy being at Maccabi?
“I believed that I was coming here to enjoy football. From the first moment that I was here I saw that this is a club that operates at the highest levels and is just like European clubs and places that I had played in the past. I didn’t know how involved I would be and how much I’d play in the matches but of course when you do play you enjoy it even more. I feel like I’m part of the club and I’m enjoying every single moment that I’m on the pitch. That’s what I want to continue to do. The relationship with the coach is excellent. We are trying to understand more and more what he expects from us and learn how he wants us to play. Slowly but surely we are improving and I hope that it will continue this way.”