Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema is set to move to Saudi Arabia.
“Karim Benzema has signed the main part of the contract to join the Saudi league and become the new Al Ittihad player,” Fabrizio Romano, a journalist familiar with the transfer market, reported on social media on Friday (5 June).
Not only did Romano post a photo of Benzema in a composite Al Ittihad jersey alongside the report, but he also used his trademark “Here we go!” to confirm the move.
“The contract runs until 2025 but includes an option to extend,” the statement added, “Benzema will travel to Saudi Arabia after saying goodbye to Madrid fans.”토토사이트
Benzema is a self-proclaimed Real legend. Benzema, who started playing for Real in 2009, scored 354 goals and provided 165 assists in 657 career appearances, winning 25 trophies, including five UEFA Champions League titles and four La Liga titles.
In 2021/22, he won the Ballon d’Or for the first time in his career after a superb year in which he won the La Liga and Champions League titles.
Having been Real’s ace for so long, Benzema has decided to part ways with the club as he approaches the age of 36.
“Real Madrid have reached an agreement with captain Karim Benzema to end his glorious and unforgettable time at the club,” the club said in a statement on its official website on 4 April.
Benzema, whose contract expires on the 30th of this month, had the option to extend his contract for another year, but chose to move to Saudi Arabia rather than stay at Real.
Benzema’s farewell to Real came on 5 May, when he started the final La Liga match of the 2022/23 season against Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Benzema scored his final goal for Real in the 27th minute of the game, when he converted a penalty earned by a teammate after trailing 0-1.
When Benzema was substituted for Luka Modric immediately after the goal, the home crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu gave him a standing ovation, and at the end of the game, Real players gave him a rinse to wish him a fresh start].
Now that Benzema has moved on from Real, he’s headed to Saudi Arabian first division club Al Ittihad.
Al Ittihad won the Saudi Professional League title in the 2022/23 season, beating Cristiano Ronaldo’s side Al Nasr.
They also met Seongnam Ilhwa (now Seongnam FC) in the 2004 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League final, losing the first leg 1-3, but winning the second leg 5-0 on a frigid night in Seongnam, earning them the nickname “Al Thugs” from domestic football fans.
Benzema’s move to Al Ittihad means that Ronaldo and Benzema, who once made their name with Gareth Bale in the ‘BBC line’, will be reunited in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, as for the terms that Al Ittihad offered to keep Benzema, Romano explained on 31 March: “The formal offer made by Al Ittihad to Benzema is understood to include financial benefits of close to €100 million per season.”