Karim Benzema leaves Real Madrid after 14 seasons with next stop expected to be Saudi Pro League


Karim Benzema, one of the greatest strikers in the history of the sport, is leaving Real Madrid after 14 seasons, 25 trophies and five Champions League crowns. The 35-year-old striker’s departure was officially announced by the club on Sunday with the expectation that he’ll join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad.

Real Madrid Football Club and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to bring his brilliant and unforgettable time as a player at our club to a close.

Real Madrid would like to show our gratitude and affection to a player who is already one of our greatest legends.

Karim Benzema joined our club in 2009, at just 21 years of age, and has been a fundamental player in this golden age of our history. During the fourteen seasons in which he has represented our badge and our shirt, he has won 25 titles, a record number for any Real Madrid player: 5 European Cups, 5 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 4 Leagues, 3 King’s Cups and 4 Spanish Super Cups.

Karim Benzema is the current UEFA Ballon d’Or and UEFA Player of the Year, as well as being included in the FIFA FIFPRO XI and winning the Pichichi Trophy 2022. Awards received after one of the most extraordinary seasons in our history, especially in the Champions League, in which our captain played some memorable matches that contributed to Real Madrid winning their 14th European Cup in Paris, being the top scorer of the competition with 15 goals.

Karim Benzema is the fifth player who has worn our shirt the most times with 647 appearances, and is Real Madrid’s second all-time top scorer with 353 goals. He is also Real Madrid’s second all-time top scorer in both La Liga and the European Cup. He is also the fourth top scorer in the history of the Champions League and the fourth top scorer in the history of La Liga.

CBS Sports soccer reporter James Benge revealed the initial interest from Saudi Arabia back in April and on Wednesday reported that Al-Ittihad believed they were on the cusp of landing the former Lyon man.

The second-highest goal scorer in Real Madrid history behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who also plays in Saudi Arabia, Benzema claimed the 2022 Ballon d’Or after winning his fifth UCL crown with Los Blancos. 

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There was the belief that he would stay for one more season until the summer of 2024 but now looks headed for a growingly popular destination in the Middle East, which is also courting Lionel Messi, N’Golo Kante and other global stars. 

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