After 14 years at Real Madrid, world-class footballer Karim Benzema bids farewell to record-breaking Spanish champions, with moving words. “I will never forget Real Madrid,” the 35-year-old Frenchman said at a farewell party in Madrid on Tuesday. “It’s impossible, it’s the best club in history.” Benzema is moving to the Saudi Al-Ittihad club, where he signed a three-year contract with an annual salary of 100 million euros, according to media reports.
ÖFB teammate David Alaba said at the “Royal” training center in Valdibas, northeast of Madrid, that he had “fulfilled a childhood dream” in Madrid. “I really wanted to end my career here, but life gives me another chance.”
Not only did Benzema get plenty of praise, but he also earned it. Real president Florentino Pérez said: “No player left us today alone, one of the most amazing players in our history says goodbye today.” In addition to Benzema’s relatives, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and a number of professionals took part in the farewell ceremony.
Benzema moved from Olympique Lyonnais to Madrid in the summer of 2009 at the age of 21. The FIFA World Player of the Year 2022 played 648 competitive matches for Real, in which he scored 354 goals. Benzema is second behind Cristiano Ronaldo (451) in the all-time leading scorer list for the traditional club. The striker won a total of 25 trophies with Real, including the Champions League five times.
In the evening, the transfer to Saudi Arabia became official. “Welcome to the Union,” his new club wrote on Twitter. “I look forward to seeing you guys in Jeddah,” the 35-year-old said in a video released by the club in Arabic.
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