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Official: Karim Benzema joins Saudi Arabian giant Al-Ittihad

The 35-year-old Real Madrid icon has finally parted ways with the Spanish giants after an immensely successful fourteen seasons in La Liga, opting to move to Al Ittihad as part of concerted efforts by Saudi Arabia to seek continued growth of the Roshn Saudi League

Saudi Arabian football is officially set to welcome another gargantuan name in the footballing world after domestic giants Al-Ittihad completed the capture of French star Karim Benzema.

The 35-year-old product of the vaunted Olympique Lyonnais youth academy pipeline completed his fourteenth season with Spanish juggernaut Real Madrid during the 2022-23 campaign before ultimately calling time on his immensely successful stint in the Spanish capital.

Benzema agreed to a two-year deal with Nadi Al-Sha’ab, which also included an option for a third season while netting the veteran star a massive €200m net salary including commercial deals.

This comes in the immediate aftermath of Saudi Arabia’s continued efforts to grow the sport exponentially both inside its borders and across the broader landscape in the Middle East which saw the capture of footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo by Al-Nassr.

Rivals Al-Hilal are also making a strong play to add a star name of their own in the vein of Argentine legend Lionel Messi after the World Cup winner is set to depart Paris Saint-Germain after the conclusion of the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season.

Should Messi arrive in the Kingdom, each of the league’s biggest three clubs would have a headline superstar name to lead the line, which not only would open up massive commercial opportunities for the Roshn Saudi League but also would give the nation key ambassadors as the country looks to succeed in its bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The Lyon-born forward leaves a lasting legacy at the Santiago Bernabeu, which included 354 goals across all competitions (238 of which came in La Liga), four league titles, six domestic cup wins, and five Champions League winners medals.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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