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Who will Benzema play for in Saudi Arabia and how much will he earn?

Benzema will end his time at Real Madrid and is set to play for Jeddah based Al Ittihad in the Saudi Arabian top flight

MADRID, 04/06/2023.- El delantero francés del Real Madrid Karim Benzema en el calentamiento previo al inicio del partido de la última jornada de Liga que el Real Madrid y el Athletic disputan este domingo en el estadio Santiago Bernabéu de la capital. EFE/Daniel Gonzalez
Daniel GonzalezEFE

Karim Benzema played his last game on Sunday for Real Madrid as they faced Athletic Club at the Santiago Bernabeu and brings to an end 14 years in the Spanish capital.

A few hours before the match against the Basque side, Real Madrid confirmed Benzema’s exit from the club after 14 seasons, ending the uncertainty about his future. “He has earned the right to decide his future,” said the statement with the decision by the French striker having apparently been made.

Karim Benzema is poised to becoming the second high profile player to grace the Saudi Pro League after former Madrid team mate Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr in January of 2023. Benzema is set to play for Jeddah based Al Ittihad with the current league champions set to spend 200 million euro on the striker for two seasons with the Lyon native also set to become an ambassador for the Saudi bid for the 2030 World Cup. According to Capology (football finance specialists), Real Madrid’s No. 9 earned 24 million euro gross per year at the Bernabeu.

Karim Benzema
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Karim BenzemaMariscalEFE

Saudi Pro League champions

Al Ittihad, based in the Saudi City of Jeddah in the Mecca region, were founded on December 26 1929, preceding the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by five years, and the club name means ‘The Union’ in Arabic. Footballhistory.org says that the reason for the formation of the club was simply “to provide entertainment to the people of Jeddah”. The stadium of ‘The Tigers’, as they are known, is called the King Abdullah Sports City, and holds over 62,000 fans.

The team are currently managed by former Wolves, Spurs and Valencia manager Nuno Espirito Santo and are current champions of the Roshn Saudi League.

The 2023/24 Saudi Pro League season kicks off on 11 August and runs through to May 2024 with Benzema set to be one of many high profile players to head to the Gulf nation over the summer months.