Karim Benzema DENIES report he was set to announce his Real Madrid departure
Karim Benzema has broken his silence over speculation that would tip him to leave Real Madrid and move to Saudi Arabia in a £345 million deal by denying a report claiming he would announce his departure at a press conference today.
Multiple publications have claimed the striker has decided to leave the Bernabeu after a glittering 14-year stint and head for an eye-watering Middle East payday, with one outlet even going so far as to announce his departure at short notice. would confirm.
However, when asked to discuss the rumours, veteran Benzema fired back and insisted he stay in Madrid, at least for now.
‘Speaking of what? Why talk about the future when I’m in Madrid… Who is speaking is the internet, and the reality is not the internet,” he said.
He added: ‘Right now I’m here… we have a game on Sunday. I know how much Real Madrid fans love me. I feel that when I’m on the field.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has denied a report announcing his departure
Asked to address links to Saudi Arabia, frontman insisted ‘reality isn’t the internet’
However, Benzema could still join former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League
“I always do my best for them. I always say we play with 11 on the field, but also with crucial factor, Real Madrid fans.’
Regardless of whether he decides to leave, Benzema will be immortalized as one of Madrid’s greatest players of all time having scored 353 goals in 647 appearances. He has also won numerous trophies, including a record five Champions Leagues.
Earlier this week, reports said an unnamed club had submitted a package worth nearly £350 million over two years. ESPN subsequently identified the club he was expected to join as Al Ittihad, although it is currently unknown if he will indeed retire.
Benzema may have even played his last game for the club after opting out of the season in a post on Instagram, after suffering a nasty cut on his foot. It remains to be seen if he will be fit enough to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Reports in Spain initially suggested that Benzema, whose contract expires this summer, was likely to entrust his future to Madrid and sign a new one-year contract. Concerns have increased, however, with the Ace’s refusal to provide long-term clarity.
It is therefore not excluded that he will join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia.
If the story of Benzema being awarded a £345 million contract proves to be correct, the terms would match Ronaldo’s £173 million a year contract with Al-Nassr.
It was also claimed that Benzema’s signing would aid in the country’s strategy to land the 2030 World Cup, for which the frontman may become an ambassador.
Benzema is one of the most successful players in Madrid’s history, with 24 silver pieces
The ace had the best year of his career in 2022, which led to him being awarded the Ballon d’Or
Benzema has scored 353 goals for Real Madrid since joining from Lyon in 2009 (pictured)
Earlier this month, Carlo Ancelotti said that ahead of Benzema’s departure, Madrid would be looking for a new striker, his age being a crucial factor.
Benzema is one of many names, including Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League this summer.
Ronaldo was the first big-name player to make the move late last year and has made waves in the Gulf, albeit without winning an award.
Al-Nassr finished second in the league during his first season, but this didn’t stop Ronaldo from cheering on the future prospects of the country’s top flight.
Ronaldo said: “The Saudi league is getting better, next year will be even better.
“Step by step, I think, this league is getting into the top five in the world, but they need time, they need players, they need infrastructure.”
“But I believe this country has tremendous potential. They have great people and the competition will be great in my opinion.”
Benzema came to Madrid from Lyon in 2009, originally to compete with Gonzalo Higuain for a place.
He had the best season of his career last year, scoring 44 goals as Los Blancos clinched both the LaLiga title and the Champions League by beating Liverpool. This led to him receiving the Ballon d’Or gong for the first time in his career.
The veteran also won four LaLiga titles and five Champions League trophies with Madrid