Karim Benzema has signed for Al Ittihad, the club announced Tuesday, becoming the latest star to join the Saudi Pro League.
Benzema, 35, left Real Madrid following the 2022-23 season after 14 years at the Bernabeu. He scored his final goal for the club in their season-ending 1-1 draw against Athletic Club on Sunday.
The former France striker was expected to sign for a further year with Madrid, but he has instead joined former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League. Sources told ESPN last Tuesday that Benzema was offered a two-year, €400 million contract by the Saudi champions.
“I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country. Al-Ittihad Club has an amazing history, incredibly passionate fans and big ambitions in football to be a force in Asia after winning the league,” Benzema said in the club’s announcement.
“I have been fortunate to achieve amazing things in my career and achieve everything I can in Spain and Europe. It now feels the time is right for a new challenge and project. Every time I’ve visited Saudi Arabia I’ve always felt such warmth and love from the fans and people. I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and, together with them, help take this amazing club and the game in Saudi Arabia to new levels.”