The Shocking Move of Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad
Football fans around the world were left stunned as news emerged that Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema had agreed on a three-year deal with Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid. The move came as a surprise, especially since he had spent 14 years with Los Blancos, winning an impressive haul of trophies including five Champions Leagues and four La Ligas.
Benzema’s departure from Real Madrid was far from ideal – they agreed to let him leave his contract one year early. Nevertheless, the French striker leaves behind an impressive record having scored a total of 354 goals for the club – second only to Cristiano Ronaldo.
A New Era in Saudi Arabia Football
This transfer is set to have major implications not just for Real Madrid but also for football in Saudi Arabia. With Ronaldo already playing for another Saudi club, Al-Nassr and Lionel Messi linked heavily with Al-Hilal this summer, it seems like the country is looking to elevate its level further by bringing some big-name players into their league.
“It’s a good league and there are many good players,” said Benzema on his move. “Cristiano Ronaldo is already there; he’s my friend which shows Saudi Arabia is starting to further progress its level.”
The veteran striker may be approaching the twilight years of his career at age 35 but he still has plenty left in him when it comes to performing on the pitch. His experience will undoubtedly prove invaluable for any team he plays for and we can expect nothing less from him now that he has joined Al-Ittihad.
A New Challenge and Project
When asked about his move to the Saudi Arabian club, Benzema stated “I am here to win, like I did in Europe. I have been fortunate to achieve amazing things in my career and achieve everything I can in Spain and Europe. It now feels like the time is right for a new challenge and project.”
The striker’s arrival at Al-Ittihad will no doubt provide a much-needed boost as they look to take on other major teams in the league. Managed by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo, there are high expectations from fans who hope that Benzema’s addition will help them clinch some silverware this season.