This is something that many Real Madrid fans feared: the retirement of their stars, their idols. Unfortunately, the time comes for all of us, and it seems that Benzema’s time has just arrived… in European football.
The Athletic announced yesterday that Benzema, 35 years old and coming off a poor season, had received a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia, and that Real Madrid had been aware of this proposal and the Frenchman’s decision to leave for several days.
Several sources from Real Madrid’s training camp in Valdebebas confirmed that the forward and coach Carlo Ancelotti had a meeting on Wednesday that was considered unusual and was not part of the team’s agenda.
All these sources stated that they expected Benzema to leave after that meeting unless the board could change his mind. The Champions League defeat has taken its toll.
According to The Athletic, a media outlet affiliated with The New York Times, Real Madrid did not stand in Benzema’s way, despite having renewed his contract until June 2024 earlier this year.
Benzema’s teammates at Real Madrid have been aware of his temptation regarding the offer from Saudi Arabia for several weeks, and as far as is known, he would have asked one of the club’s physiotherapists to accompany him to Saudi Arabia.
Benzema arrived at Madrid in 2009 from Lyon for around 40 million euros, and as of 2023, he is the second-highest goalscorer in Real Madrid’s history, with 353 goals in 647 matches, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 450 goals in 438 matches.
He won his first Ballon d’Or last year and has lifted 24 trophies during his time at the club, including four La Liga titles and five Champions League titles.
It is expected that the Frenchman will be bid farewell as a hero in Real Madrid’s final match of the season, on Sunday against Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu.
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