Monday, September 25, 2023

Benzema left Real Madrid after 14 seasons

MADRID (AP) – Karim Benzema will not join Real Madrid next season, the Spanish club announced Sunday.

Madrid reported that it had reached an agreement with the French striker – the Ballon d’Or winner – “to end his illustrious and unforgettable phase as a player for our club.”

Hours after the announcement, Benzema converted a penalty during the second half of his last game in the Merengue shirt – a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao – at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on the last day of the Spanish league.

In a comprehensive statement, the club explained that Benzema’s career in Madrid “has been an example of tact and professionalism, and represents the values ​​of our club.”

“Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his own future,” he commented.

The announcement comes amid reports that Benzema will play in the Saudi Arabian League.

“Madridistas and fans all over the world have enjoyed his magical and unique football, which has made him one of the great myths of our club and one of the great legends of world football,” the club said.

Benzema, 35, played 14 seasons with Madrid after arriving from Olympique de Lyon in 2009. He added 25 titles with the Meringues, a record number for a footballer from the Spanish giant.

The list of titles includes five Champions Leagues, five Club World Cups and four Spanish leagues.

He said, ‘It was good to play with him, he is a great player. We are sorry, but we understand it”, commented Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. “He is a legend and he deserves to be selected. I wish him well.”

Benzema won the last Ballon d’Or for the world’s best football player after starring in a memorable season in 2021-22 and also won the UEFA Player of the Year award, bastion of 14th European Cup victory, tournament top 15 Scorer by goal.

He accumulated 648 appearances for Madrid, the fifth most by a player in the club’s history.

He is also Madrid’s second all-time goalscorer with 354 goals. He is also the fourth goalscorer in the history of the Champions League and the fourth goalscorer in the history of the Spanish league.

“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been an example of behavior and professionalism, and has represented the values ​​of our club. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his own future.

The club indicated that “an institutionalized act of tribute and farewell” to Benzema would be held on Tuesday.

Madrid said, “Real Madrid is and will always be his home and it wishes him and his entire family the best in this new phase of his life.”

Three other players are leaving Madrid this summer: Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Mariano Díaz.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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