After it was announced that the former France international striker would be leaving Real Madrid, rumors stated on Sunday that both Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi will likely relocate to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi official television program Al-Ekhbariya said that Benzema, who is now 35 years old, has signed with Al-Ittihad, which is situated in Jeddah.
After playing his final game for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, senior representatives from Al Hilal have traveled to France in an effort to finalize a transfer agreement with Lionel Messi, who is now 35 years old.
According to sources who spoke with AFP on Sunday, the Saudi delegation has plans to meet with Jorge Messi, Messi’s father and agent, with the intention of finalizing the signing as quickly as possible.
Messi moved to Paris from Barcelona two years ago but was unable to lead PSG to the coveted Champions League championship. The club lost in the round of 16 in both seasons that Messi was a member of the squad, and Messi was unable to help PSG win the tournament.
After Cristiano Ronaldo made the transfer from Manchester United to Al Nassr in the Gulf kingdom after the World Cup of last year, Benzema and Messi are rumored to be interested in following in Ronaldo’s footsteps in the region.
According to Al-Ekhbariya, the president of Saudi champions Al-Ittihad and his deputy were in the Spanish capital “to officially sign” Benzema in a “record transfer” with Real Madrid. Benzema will be joining Real Madrid from Saudi Arabia.
According to the broadcaster, Benzema has reached an agreement with the club, which has its headquarters on the banks of the Red Sea in the Gulf nation.
On Sunday, Benzema scored a penalty kick in his farewell game for Real Madrid, which resulted in a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.
Carlo Ancelotti, the manager of Real Madrid, and Karim Benzema, the striker, have both stated in the last week that Benzema would not terminate his contract with Santiago Bernabeu early, even if there is still one year remaining on the deal.
Benzema is the current owner of the Ballon d’Or, which is given to the player who is considered to be the finest in the world, and has won five Champions Leagues, four La Liga crowns, and three Copas del Rey while playing for Madrid.
– Leaving Lyon –
Benzema moved to Madrid in 2009 from his local team, Lyon, who played in Ligue 1 at the time.
After establishing himself as a significant player with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the famed “BBC” offensive trident, Benzema went on to grow as the team’s captain after the Portugal striker departed in 2018. Ronaldo was Benzema’s teammate in the “BBC” attacking trident.
With 354 goals scored for Real Madrid, he is the club’s all-time second most scorer, trailing only Ronaldo’s 450 goals scored during his stay with the club.
During his early days at Real Madrid, Benzema competed with Gonzalo Higuain for a regular starting position. At one point, Benzema was mocked by the previous coach, Jose Mourinho, who referred to him as a “cat” rather than the “hunting dog” he desired.
During the time that they were on the field together, Benzema assumed the position as the team’s provider for Ronaldo and worked very hard to do so.
After Ronaldo left, the forward substantially upped his goal production and began playing in the center of the field. He finished the previous season having scored 44 goals in 46 games, a feat that earned him the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
In May, Benzema led Real Madrid to victory in the Copa del Rey by scoring a goal in their victory over Osasuna. This victory was Real Madrid’s first Copa del Rey victory since 2014.
Because of the significant part he played in Benzema’s team’s run to victory in the Champions League the previous year, it’s possible that victory is the one that means the most to him of all his accomplishments.
The forward’s incredible hat trick was a key factor in Madrid’s comeback victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, which allowed the team to advance.
Benzema got another hat trick at Stamford Bridge during the quarterfinals match against Chelsea. He also scored the game-winning goal in extra time during the second leg of the match, which advanced his club to the semifinals.
The striker also scored three goals over the course of two games against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to assist Madrid reach the final, which they eventually won against Liverpool in Paris. This was the forward’s first victory as the team’s figurehead in the Champions League.