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Karim Benzema: And now, head for Saudi Arabia?


Highlights: French striker Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. The 35-year-old will move to Saudi Arabia to play for the Al-Ittihad Club. The move is part of a plan to prepare for the 2030 World Cup in Saudi Arabia. The club has offered him a salary of 200 million euros per year, according to reports. The deal could be finalized as early as next week, says a source close to the club. The announcement was made in a press conference at the Bernabeu.

After fourteen years in the jersey of Real, five Champions Leagues, four titles in La Liga and a last match this Sunday, the Frenchman, 3

This is the end of the great love story between Karim Benzema and Real Madrid, started 14 years ago for the better. At the end of his contract with the Madrid club, the French striker, 35, has decided not to replace Real, who announced this Sunday in a statement.

According to many media sources, the rest of his story will be written... in Saudi Arabia, and more particularly in the jersey of Al-Ittihad Club. As it did with Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined the Al-Nassr club in early January, and hopes to do so with Leo Messi, the Saudi Pro League has dangled a golden pre-retirement to Lyonnais, in the form of a salary of 200 million euros net per year according to ESPN in particular.

Since the beginning of the week, Spain was agitated by the possibility of a departure of the Ballon d'Or. As early as Tuesday, Spanish newspaper AS estimated that Benzema had "more than a foot and a half in the Saudi league". The same newspaper reported that the Frenchman had had several conversations relating to Saudi Arabia and its championship with Cristiano Ronaldo, his former teammate at Real.

See alsoRonaldo, Tour cycliste, Dakar: how Saudi Arabia uses sport to restore its image

After his last match at the Bernabéu against Athletic Bilbao this Sunday (18:30) and the farewell made with the club of his life, Tuesday at a ceremony organized at the Ciudad Real Madrid, Karim Benzema could quickly open this new chapter of his career. Mercato journalist Fabrizio Romano even announces that the Saudi club could formalize the arrival of Benzema as early as the middle of next week.

Benzema's recruitment is part of a vast soft power through sport programme established by Saudi Arabia, whose purpose is to secure the organisation of the 2030 World Cup. Candidacy that the Frenchman will support as ambassador, with other eminent representatives, including a certain Lionel Messi.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-06-04

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