Karim Benzema to Leave Real Madrid amid Saudi Pro League Contract Rumors
DT(SPORTS) – French star Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid this summer and is expected to sign with Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, according to ESPN’s Julien Laurens and Alex Kirkland.
Sky Italy’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported the 35-year-old will make his decision official Thursday.
Laurens reported Tuesday that Al-Ittihad was prepared to offer Benzema €400 million over two seasons, matching the contract Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Al-Nassr.
Benzema had a verbal agreement with the Spanish giant to keep him at the club till 2024, that eventually did not materialise. He will reportedly sign for a Saudi Arabia-based club.
There have been rumours circulating about a lucrative three-year deal for Benzema from Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad, that will see him earn close to €100 million per year. He allegedly held talks with former teammate Cristian Ronaldo before taking a decision.
Benzema has scored 353 goals and has 165 assists for Real Madrid, since joining the side in 2009 from Ligue 1 club Lyon. He has secured a total of 25 titles with Real, including five UEFA Champion Trophy and four league titles.
The 35-year-old was honoured with the prestigious Ballon d’Or award last year after playing a crucial role in Madrid’s success in the La Liga, UEFA Champions League and the Super Cup in the 2021/22 season, scoring 44 goals.
Benzema, on his 35th birthday, announced his retirement from international football just after the FIFA World Cup concluded last year, in which he could not participate after failing to recover in time from an injury. France went on to lose the finals to Argentina in penalty shootouts.
Benzema signed for Real Madrid during the 2009 summer transfer window, and his arrival coincided with the return of a Galácticos era at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Along with Benzema, Madrid brought in Ronaldo, Kaká and Xabi Alonso in 2009, while Ángel Di María and Mesut Özil joined in 2010. Luka Modrić, Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez and Toni Kroos were among the notable stars who followed.
— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) June 1, 2023
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