Karim Benzema officially joins Al Ittihad


Published: 2023-06-06 22:46

Last Updated: 2024-04-16 18:25

Karim Benzema officially joins Al Ittihad
Karim Benzema officially joins Al Ittihad

The French forward Karim Benzema, 35, officially signed a contract with the Saudi club “Al-Ittihad.”

Benzema's contract runs until 2026.

Earlier, Benzema said leaving Real Madrid "hurts" at a goodbye ceremony Tuesday ahead of his move to Saudi Arabia's Al-Ittihad.

The 35-year-old forward has signed for the Jeddah-based side on a three-year deal starting next season, a source at the Saudi club told AFP on Tuesday.

"It's a bit of a sad day, because I am leaving this club, it hurts me, because I had a dream in my head - to sign for Madrid, and finish at Madrid, but sometimes life gives you other opportunities," said Benzema in a speech during his farewell at Madrid's training ground.

"I will always watch Madrid's games, and thanks to the fans too, who pushed me on to play good games."

The French forward signed for Madrid in 2009 from Ligue 1 side Lyon.

Benzema made 648 appearances for Madrid and is second on Real's all-time goalscoring list with 354 -- only Ronaldo has more.

He won five Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey and is the current Ballon d'Or holder.

Benzema said he was grateful to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for signing him.