Benzema reveals the reason behind leaving Real Madrid

By Real11 - Oct 12 2023 201 Views

 “I always wanted to join Saudi Pro League”- Benzema on Madrid exit

Karim Benzema always wanted to reside in Saudi Arabia and “help Saudi football grow” and that is why he planned a move to Al Ittihad this summer  

The decorated forward who bagged the Ballon d’Or in 2022, left Los Blancos after 14 long years “to try a new challenge”, penning a deal for Al Ittihad in June with the Saudi Pro League champions as a free agent. 

Well with everything I've made and gained with Real Madrid, I think it was a good moment for me to try a new challenge,"  Benzema told the Saudi Pro League website . "For a really long time even before football, I always wanted to come here. Also, it's a Muslim country. Straight away I felt this love for me. On and off the pitch I feel good.

"This country welcomed me with open arms. I feel the love of the people here so obviously that makes me happy." 

The former Real Madrid man signed a three year deal with Al-Ithhihad and has big ambitions. 

I really want to help Saudi football grow," he added. "It [Al Ittihad] was a project that was just starting to burst from everywhere so from my side I wanted to be part of the story. That's the reason why I came here."

Since Cristiano Ronaldo completed a move to Al Nassr in December 2022 after a sad exit from Manchester United, numerous football stars have followed his trail and joined the Saudi Pro League. 

Neymar, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firminho, Marcelo Brozovic and Roberto Firminho are a few notable names that have moved to the Middle East this summer.

Besides Benzema, Al Ittihad, coached by Nuno Espirito Santo, bolstered their squad with the addition of ex chelsea midfielder N’ Golo Kante and former Celtic forward Jota. 

"The team hasn't really changed from last year which is good," Benzema said. "There have only been a few reinforcements. We've got a good squad, and we are working well together."

Al Ittihad are currently placed fourth on the table, four points behind leaders Al Hilal after nine games. 

Benzema, who has found the back of the net on 3 occasions and provided 3 assists in seven league appearances so far in his first season, said his best is yet to come. 

“I'm feeling good, getting better and better." he said. "I'm going to step up my game. Little by little the team's level is rising and so is mine. But the most important thing for me will be to win trophies at the end of the season."

Benzema is the second-highest goal scorer of all time for Real Madrid only behind the great Cristiano Ronaldo, and won 25 major trophies with them. 

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