Karim Benzema joins club after Newcastle United owners make major move - more to follow

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Real Madrid legend and Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema has agreed to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad just days after PIF confirmed a majority stake in the club.

The 35-year-old Ballon D’Or winner has agreed a three-year deal at the Saudi Arabian club after his departure from Real Madrid was confirmed. The deal is understood to be worth around £86million-per-season.

This comes after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund announced that it had taken a 75% ownership stake in Saudi Pro League teams Al Ahli, Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Al Ittihad. The remaining 25% of each club would be owned by non-profit foundations.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

PIF own 80% of Premier League club Newcastle United, whose spending is restricted by Financial Fair Play regulations. But no such restrictions are in place in Saudi Arabia as several other major deals are under discussion following Benzema’s arrival.

“It’s a good league and there are many good players,” Benzema commented. “Cristiano Ronaldo is already there, a friend which shows Saudi Arabia is starting to further progress its level. I am here to win, like I did in Europe.

“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.”

Back in January, Al Nassr tempted Cristiano Ronaldo to join following his release from Manchester United on a world record £175million-per-season deal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Al Hilal are also targeting World Cup winning captain Lionel Messi following his release from Paris Saint-Germain. The proposed two-year deal is reportedly worth in excess of £1billion with Messi set to make a decision on his future amid interest from his former club Barcelona.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.