French striker and Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema opened up about his decision to move to the Saudi Arabian league. Benzema decided to part ways with the Spanish giants Real Madrid after a 14-year-long stint. He would make the move to Saudi Arabia and complete his switch to Al-Ittihad on July 1.
The 35-year-old joined the Saudi champions on a three-year contract. The striker is set to earn around €200 million per season in the Middle East. But he said there was more behind his decision than just money.
In a recent interview, Benzema said, “Well, because I’m Muslim and this is a Muslim country, and I have always wanted to live here”.
The former Real Madrid and Lyon star also saw the potential of the Saudi Pro League and hoped to help it grow alongside his former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo. Talking about the league he said, “I’m so ready to show my talent in this new challenge. There are so many big names playing here in this league. Cristiano Ronaldo and now me. So, it’s very important to show that Saudi football can have a global impact because it’s not only about playing well here. I should bring the success I managed to achieve in Europe and play the same way I used to do with Real Madrid.”
Benzema then concluded by adding remarks about this relationship with his ex-teammate Ronaldo. Benzema said, “Ronaldo is my friend and he is here. It’s amazing to see him here in Saudi Arabia. Also, he represents the new era of football in this country and the progress that’s happening here, which is important on the international level.”
Real Madrid wants to sign Inter Milan striker this summeras a Benzema replacement
Real Madrid is reportedly thinking of making a move for Inter Milan star Lautaro Martinez. After the departure of Karim Benzema from the club and the uncertainty rising over the possibility of bringing Harry Kane to Marid, Martinez reportedly became a prominent option for the Spanish giants.
The 25-year-old has scored 28 goals in 56 appearances in all competitions this season and played a big role in Inter reaching the Champions League final. Martinez, who is high on Chelsea’s striker wishlist, was also a member of the Argentina team that won the World Cup in Qatar.
It would cost Real Madrid around £70 million to bring him over to Spain. The Argentine can add the Champions League to his cup double in Italy this season after sealing Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia titles to his trophy cabinet in 2022-23.
Supratim Banerjee is a football content writer at FirstSportz, currently pursuing B.COM from University of Calcutta.
Supratim has been following the sport since 2010. He is a huge Barcelona and Argentina fan. He follows other like Cricket, WWE as well.
Apart from sports writing, Supratim is very much into travelling, as he likes wandering to new places and knowing new people and their untold stories.
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