Karim Benzema, the former Real Madrid captain, bid farewell to his fans after 14 seasons as he embarks on a new chapter in his career. The French striker has officially signed with Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad for a three-season contract, extending until 2026. The move comes after Benzema received a lucrative offer from Arab football, with reports suggesting that he will earn a staggering $200 million for the transfer.
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In an announcement video released by Al Ittihad, Benzema expressed his excitement about joining the team in Jeddah, the Saudi coastal city where the club is based. The Algerian-born Frenchman even spoke a few words in Arabic, showcasing his enthusiasm for this new adventure. The news of Benzema’s signing spread quickly, and Al Ittihad proudly tweeted, “Benzema is Al Ittihad,” along with a video of the player signing his contract and wearing the club’s black and yellow kit, adorned with the number 2026. It is worth noting that Al Ittihad has been actively recruiting international football stars, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo also being pursued by the Saudi Premier League.
While the exact details of Benzema’s contract have not been disclosed, Saudi state television Al Ijbariya described it as a “record” deal. The financial terms of the agreement remain a subject of speculation, but it is evident that Benzema’s move to Al Ittihad is a significant one both in terms of his career and the financial aspect.
Following the announcement, Benzema took to his social media accounts to bid farewell to Real Madrid. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play for the club for 14 years and acknowledged the privilege of wearing the legendary white shirt. The French striker thanked the club’s president, his teammates, coaches, staff, and everyone who played a part in his journey at Real Madrid. Their support and belief in him were vital to his growth as a player and as an individual.
While Benzema had hoped to retire in white, he recognised the allure of another opportunity in Arab football. He assured Real Madrid fans that a part of the club would always remain in his heart and expressed his intention to continue following the success of the team. The striker concluded his message with a heartfelt thank you to the fans for their love and support throughout the years.
Karim Benzema’s move to Al Ittihad marks a significant milestone in his career. As he embraces a new challenge in Saudi Arabia, he leaves behind a legacy at Real Madrid, where he won numerous titles and established himself as one of the club’s all-time greats. With his exceptional skills and experience, Benzema’s presence in the Saudi Premier League will undoubtedly enhance the level of competition and contribute to the growing prominence of Arab football on the global stage.