Karim Benzema has always stated his desire to retire at Real Madrid and he will take a further step towards that aim on Thursday when he puts pen to paper on a new deal at the Bernabéu. The French striker will add an extra two years to his current deal, which expires in 2019, taking him up to 2021 as a Real Madrid player by which time he will be 33 years old and will have spent 12 seasons at the club.
Real informed the former Lyon striker a few months ago of their intention to offer him a new deal and due to the player’s desire to remain at the club negotiations were swift. Benzema will receive a pay rise on his current salary of 7.5 million euros net per year and his minimum release clause will remain set at a staggering one billion euros.
"The cat" who got the cream
While Benzema is now the undisputed first choice in his position and a favourite of his coach, Zinedine Zidane, and club president Florentino Pérez things have not always been easy for the striker since his arrival at the Bernabéu from Lyon in 2009 in a deal worth 35 million euros with a further six in add-ons. José Mourinho once nicknamed Benzema “the cat” as the Portuguese manager suggested he was not always fully firing in early training sessions but Benzema knuckled down and has won the trust of successive Bernabéu bosses.
The Frenchman has also never entertained any of the numerous offers that have been received for his services down the years and remains committed to the club, where he has risen now to the position of fourth captain – the captaincy at Madrid being awarded on the basis of time spent at the club.