Real Madrid announced on Sunday that Karim Benzema would leave the club after 14 years. The Ballon d’Or winner will move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad.
Spanish news outlets say that Benzema, whose contract had one year left, will sign with Al-Ittihad after getting a two-year deal worth €400 million.
Since joining the team in 2009, the star scorer has scored 353 goals and set up 165 others in 647 games for Real Madrid.
The Frenchman has won five Champions Leagues and four La Ligas with Real Madrid.
Real Madrid said in a formal statement, “Real Madrid C.F. and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to end Karim’s brilliant and unforgettable time as a player for our club.”
“Real Madrid wants to show thanks and love to someone who is already in the list of one of our most famous players.
“Karim Benzema joined our club when he was just 21 years old, in 2009. He has been a key player in this great time in our history. In the fourteen seasons he has worn our flag and shirt, he has won a record 25 wins for Real Madrid: 5 European Cups, 5 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 4 Leagues, 3 King’s Cups, and 4 Spanish Super Cups.
Benzema, who is 35 years old, won the 2022 Pichichi Trophy and is the current UEFA Golden Ball and Player of the Year.
“Karim Benzema is the fifth player to wear our shirt the most, with 647 games. He is also the second player in Real Madrid history to score the most goals, with 353. He is also only the second player in Real Madrid’s history to score in the League and the European Cup. He is also the fourth person to score in the Champions League and the fourth person to score in the League, according to the statement.
“Karim Benzema’s time at Real Madrid has been a model of good behaviour and professionalism, and he has shown what our club stands for.” The Spanish club said in a news statement that Karim Benzema has won the right to decide what will happen to him.
“Real Madrid fans and football fans all over the world have loved his wonderful and unique style of play, which has made him one of the great heroes of our club and one of the great myths of world football.
“Real Madrid is and always will be his home, and he wishes him and his whole family the best in this new stage of his life.”
The club also said that on Tuesday, June 6, there will be a ceremony in Ciudad Real Madrid to honour and say goodbye to Benzema.