Karim Benzema to leave Real Madrid after 14 years as he plans press conference to announce shock departure

Karim-Benzema(C)Getty Images
  • Benzema out of contract this summer
  • Will not renew with Real
  • Departure announcement imminent

WHAT HAPPENED? The 2022 Ballon d'Or winner's contract in the Spanish capital expires at the end of the month, with no agreement reached on an extension. After reports suggested that he had already communicated to Real Madrid his decision to leave for a mega-money move to Saudi Arabia, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that the Frenchman will go public with this announcement on Thursday.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Benzema will earn a reported €400 million (£346m/$439m) over the course of a two-year contract with Saudi side Al-Ittihad. The Jeddah club were crowed Saudi Pro League champions this season, finishing five points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr. Benzema's deal will also see him act as an ambassador for the country's 2030 World Cup bid.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Benzema, 35, joined Madrid from Lyon in 2009 and has won five Champions League titles and four La Liga crowns, among a plethora of other trophies. He has scored 353 goals in all competitions as he clocked up 647 appearances for the club.

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Karim benzema real madrid 2022-23Karim Benzema Real Madrid 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR BENZEMA? The France international may make his last appearance for Madrid on Sunday when they take on Athletic Club at Santiago Bernabeu in their final game of the season.