Official: Karim Benzema joins Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad on potential €600m contract following Real Madrid exit

  • Benzema has left Real Madrid after 14 years
  • Al-Ittihad move has finally been confirmed
  • Forward set to battle it out with Ronaldo for titles

WHAT HAPPENED? Benzema has long been linked with a big-money move to the Middle East and said farewell to Real Madrid on Tuesday. He has now been unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player. The France international is understood to have signed a two-year contract with an option for a further year, which is set to pocket him a staggering €200 million (£172m/$213m) per season.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: For the majority of the season, Benzema had been expected to extend his Madrid contract, which expires this summer. However, in the end he opted to follow former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia, with the pair poised to battle it out for the title next season.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I am excited to see you in Jeddah," Benzema said in a video posted on Al-Ittihad's social media channels. "Al-Ittihad is a new challenge for me. It's a good league and there are many good players. Cristiano Ronaldo is already here, he is a friend who shows that Saudi Arabia is starting to get ahead and I am here to win as I did in Europe."


WHAT NEXT? Benzema will be unveiled in front of a capacity crowd in Jeddah on Wednesday. He is expected to be joined by more high-profile stars in the Saudi Pro League during the summer transfer window, with Lionel Messi among those linked with a move.