It is the third club of his career, after his debut at Lyon and a move to Real Madrid. Leaving the Spanish capital on Sunday on a 354th goal, Karim Benzema has, according to information from AFP, signed up for three years with the formation of Al-Ittihad, in Saudi Arabia. A total salary of 400 million euros in total had been mentioned in recent days for a two-year contract to evolve within this team based in Jeddah, a coastal city on the shores of the Red Sea.
Located less than 100 kilometers from Mecca, the sacred city of Islam, it is known to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix, the last edition of which took place in March. But it is also home to the Al-Ittihad club, one of the best in Saudi Arabia where the French center-forward, who retired from international football after the World Cup in Qatar missed through injury, will have the opportunity to enrich his record.
This team won the last edition of the Saudi championship, completed at the end of May, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, based in the capital Riyadh. She had also dominated (3-1) the formation of the Portuguese in the semi-finals of the Super Cup of Saudi Arabia at the end of January, a trophy also won by Al-Ittihad.
Karim Benzema will be the only real player known in Europe for this team, led by former Tottenham coach, Portuguese Nuno Espirito Santo since July 2022. The ex-Madrid star will rub shoulders with many local players, but also foreigners like the Moroccan Abderrazak Hamed-Allah. The latter, entered during the semi-final of the World Cup against the Blues, could form an attacking duo with “KB9”.
Two Asian Champions Leagues on the list
Al-Ittihad also has Brazilians Igor Coronado and Bruno Henrique in its ranks, who both played in Europe, as well as Egyptian defender Ahmed Hegazy, 78 caps with his national team. Former Monaco and Angola international Helder Costa was also on loan this season.
But this club, which plays at the King Abdallah stadium and its 62,000 seats, is also known in Saudi Arabia for having won the Asian Champions League twice in a row, in 2004 and 2005. It had become the second club of the monarchy wahhabite to win the continental competition, after Al-Hilal, another formation of Riyadh.
Since then, other well-known figures in French football have passed there, such as Bruno Metsu or Vahid Halilhodzic on the bench, or the late former midfielder of PSG and OM Modeste Mbami as well as the ex-Sochalien Jaouad Zaïri. Karim Benzema now completes this list. A presence still unlikely a few days ago.
#Karim #Benzema #Saudi #Arabia #AlIttihad #French #strikers #club #worth