- Benzema expressed his eagerness to take part in a new football league.
- Al Ittihad and Benzema agreed to a three-year contract.
- Benzema’s arrival was deemed to be the most significant transfer, according to Al Ittihad.
Karim Benzema, the winner of the Ballon d’Or, made a huge move by signing as a free agent with the Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad. After 14 successful years with Real Madrid, Benzema signed a three-year contract with the Saudi champions and will don the No. 9 jersey.
Benzema said he’s excited to play in a new football league in a new country. The timing is perfect for a new challenge and elevating both the club and the game in Saudi Arabia, he said as he acknowledged his achievement in Spain and Europe.
Benzema said, “I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country. I have been fortunate to achieve amazing things in my career and achieve everything I can in Spain and Europe.”
“It now feels the time is right for a new challenge and project … I am looking forward to joining my new team mates and, together with them, help take this amazing club and the game in Saudi Arabia to new levels.”
Benzema follows in the footsteps of his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed a 2.5-year deal with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia in December. This move illustrates how popular Saudi Arabia is becoming as a destination for top football players.
While a member of Real Madrid, Karim Benzema was an integral part of the team’s attack and saw tremendous success, taking home five UEFA Champions League championships and four LaLiga titles. He put in his best effort during the 2021–22 season, scoring 44 goals while helping the team win the LaLiga title and its 14th European title.
A lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia, thought to be worth over 100 million euros, played a role in Benzema’s decision to leave Real Madrid. The 35-year-old striker, who won the Ballon d’Or last year, decided to forego the one-year extension clause in his contract and take on a new challenge despite suffering from injuries and being left off France’s World Cup squad.
The Saudi Pro League title holders Al Ittihad saw Benzema’s transfer as a historic and significant one for the club.
The most significant transfer in the club’s history to date, according to a statement from Al Ittihad, is Benzema’s arrival. After its most successful season to date, it also marks another significant step in the Saudi Pro League’s growth as one of the top destinations for the best players in the world of football.
Anmar Alhailae, the club’s president, expressed his joy and called Benzema a “global football icon, he’s box office and very much at the top of his powers. He joins a team in a fiercely competitive league and a country that has ambitious goals both on and off the pitch.