June 8 – Karim Benzema has completed his move to Al-Ittihad, the Saudi Arabian club have confirmed, the latest superstar to move to the Gulf state for one final financial windfall.
Benzema has left Real Madrid after 14 years and has signed a contract until 2026 estimated by media reports to be worth more than €100 million.
The French Ballon d’Or winner said farewell to Madrid in a small, private ceremony closed to fans and media on Tuesday following a trophy-laden 14-year stay with the LaLiga giants.
“I will never forget Real Madrid. It’s impossible, it’s the best club in history. But I think today is the time to leave and to get to know another story,” Benzema told the small audience at Real’s training facilities.
“It’s difficult to talk with so many feelings, but I wanted to thank Real Madrid and my team mates. It was a good path in my life. I have been lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream.”
Benzema scored 354 goals for Real and won the Ballon d’Or at the end of the 2021-22 campaign when he scored 44 times in all competitions. In all he won five Champions League trophies.
Al-Ittihad, from the port city of Jeddah, last month won its first Saudi title since 2009 after overhauling Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, which had led for much of the season.
The Ballon d’Or holder arrived in Jeddah yesterday ahead of his official unveiling in Saudi Arabiaat a sold out 62,000 capacity King Abdullah Sports City stadium today.
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