Karim Benzema joins Saudi Arabia champions Al Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has joined Saudi Arabia champions Al Ittihad on a three-year deal after leaving Real Madrid.


The French forward announced his departure from the Spanish club last weekend after a 14-year spell in which he won La Liga on four occasions and the Champions League five times. He scored 354 goals for Real, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo.


Ronaldo, who hit 450 Real goals, plays for another Saudi club, Al-Nassr.


Al Ittihad are managed by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo and finished five points ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr – who came second – last season.


Karim Benzema joins Saudi Arabia champions Al Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid


Al Ittihad posted a video on Twitter of Benzema signing a contract until 2026, although the club did not disclose any financial details.

“I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country,” the 35-year-old, who will wear the No 9 shirt, said.

“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 had been with Madrid since 2009 and won a club-record 25 titles. His last season with Madrid saw him captain the team to victory in the Copa del Rey final but they finished second to Barcelona in LaLiga and lost in the semi-finals of the Champions League to Manchester City.


He bid farewell to the fans after scoring in his final Madrid game on Sunday, a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.


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