Former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has completed his move to Saudi Arabia club Al Ittihad. The striker has signed a three-year deal with the Saudi champions.
Benzema who was a formidable part of Real Madrid for over 14 years bid farewell to the club in a press conference. At the press conference, he was quoted as saying, “I’ll never forget Real Madrid because it’s impossible. It’s the best club in the world and in history, that’s as good as it gets. It’s time for me to leave today and to have another story, but the most important thing for me is what I’ve won here.”
Karim Benzema further added, “I was lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream thanks to the president, who a long time ago, when I was just 21 years old, went to my house, with my parents. When I saw you I said, he’s the man who brought Zizou and Ronaldo and now he wants me in his team. Thank you very much for that.”
On joining Al Ittihad, he stated, “Al Ittihad is a new challenge for me. It’s a good league and there are many good players. Cristiano Ronaldo is already here, he is a friend who shows that Saudi Arabia is starting to get ahead and I am here to win as I did in Europe”.
Karim Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in the iconic summer transfer of 2009, scored 354 goals in 648 games and won a club-record 25 trophies during his time with the La Liga side. Talking about individual glories, Benzema was awarded the 2022 Ballon d’Or after having an exceptional season.
In addition to Benzema, there are a host of superstars who are in the ranks of the Saudi clubs. High-profile players including Chelsea defender N’golo Kante, Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric, Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha and former Arsenal player Alexis Sanchez have been approached by various clubs. Besides these giants, the Saudi Pro League comprises one of football’s greatest talents Cristiano Ronaldo.