Confirmed! Karim Benzema signs crazy million-dollar deal in Saudi Arabia

One day after his official farewell to Spanish top club Real Madrid, Karim Benzema’s future is clear: the center forward follows Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia, where he signs a new multi-million dollar contract.

Karim Benzema will be a striker for Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in the next three years, the club confirmed on Tuesday night. For weeks there has been speculation about a possible move to the desert, now the ink is dry.

The contract is one of the highest in the world: according to media reports, the total salary including advertising contracts is up to 200 million euros per season.

“Benzema is here. A new tiger will roar. Welcome to Ittihad,” wrote the “Tigers” from Jeddah on Twitter. The star centre-forward, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2022, said in Arabic: “I look forward to seeing you in Jeddah.”

Saudi Arabia is attacking the football market

Al Ittihad won the Asian Champions League in 2004 and 2005 and is considered one of the great rivals of runners-up Al-Nassr, for whom Portugal’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been playing since last winter. Both are also said to act internationally as sporting ambassadors for Saudi Arabia and thus for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and to help bring the 2030 World Cup to the desert state, although the regime there has been accused of human rights violations for many years.

The state makes no secret of the fact that it generously supports the ambitious projects. Ronaldo club Al Nassr, Benzema club Al Ittihad as well as Al Hilal and Al Ahli only went into the hands of a Saudi sovereign wealth fund on Monday. He had already taken over the Premier League club Newcastle United two years ago.

Benzema actually wanted to end his career at Real Madrid

Karim Benzema moved from Olympique Lyon to the Spanish capital Madrid in 2009. With Real, the striker won the Champions League five times and was Spanish champion four times. In total, he won 24 titles with Madrid. English captain Harry Kane is under discussion as his successor at Real.

On his farewell to Real Madrid, the 97-time France international revealed that he once had “a dream” of ending his career with Los Blancos. “But there is always another chance in life and I decided that with my family.”

Club president Florentino Pérez praised Benzema as one of the club’s “most legendary players”. “Benzema came to us almost as a child and today you are one of our biggest idols and one of the best players of all time,” said the Spaniard.