Karim Benzema: Five-time Champions League winner to leave Real Madrid after 14 years

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 24, 2023. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Karim Benzema is to leave Real Madrid after 14 years at the club. The Ballon d’Or-winning striker, who joined the Spanish giants from Lyon in 2009, will depart on a free transfer when the season ends. Benzema, who had a year left on his contract, is set to move to Saudi Arabia after receiving a “record offer” from Al-Ittihad, according to Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.

Benzema, 35, won five Champions Leagues and four La Liga titles with Madrid. Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television station reported on Sunday that Benzema will sign a two-year deal with Al-Ittihad. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti had said on Saturday that he expected the former French international to stay next season. “Benzema as been an example of behaviour and professionalism, and has represented the values of our club,” Madrid said in a statement on Sunday. “He has earned the right to decide his future.”

He is the third first-team player confirmed to be leaving Madrid in two days, after it was announced on Saturday that both Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio will also depart this summer. Speaking on Saturday, Ancelotti said: “Kane is a great player, he is from Tottenham and we have to respect both the player and the club.” The Frenchman won a total of 25 major titles with Real Madrid, a record for the club.

Benzema is the Ballon d’Or holder, having guided Madrid to the Champions League title last season with 15 goals in the competition.


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