‘Am Muslim, always wanted to live here’
Playing soccer for the dough in Saudi Arabia? No, that was not the main motivation for Karim Benzema in his choice of Al-Ittihad, he made clear at his presentation, “I am a Muslim and it is a Muslim country.”
The 35-year-old Frenchman, chosen last year as world footballer of the year (he was awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or), decided to leave Real Madrid after 14 years. He played 648 games for the Spanish superpower, won 25 awards there and scored no fewer than 354 goals for Real. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (450) managed to score more often for the club.
‘Always wanted to go to Saudi Arabia’
Last Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad made it world-renowned that it had brought in the star player. Benzema is reportedly going to pocket 600 million euros over three years. That’s 6.34 euros per second. An astronomical sum.
Benzema, however, cites another incentive for his choice. “I’ve always wanted to live there. I’ve already been to Saudi Arabia and I feel good there. The most important thing is that it is a Muslim country, loved and beautiful.”
Benzema presented in Saudi Arabia: ‘Have always wanted to live here’
Benzema: “When I spoke to my family about my move to Saudi Arabia, they were all very happy. And here I am, for me it’s where I want to be,” concluded the striker, who was received in spectacular fashion by Saudi fans.