Karim Benzema is joining a Saudi Arabian club, Al Ittiha after leaving Real Madrid on a free transfer last weekend.
The reigning Ballon d’Or winner, won 25 major trophies in his 14 years at Real Madrid, including four LaLiga and five Champions League.
Benzema, 35, has signed a three-year contract with the Saudi champions reportedly worth more than €100m (£86m) per season.
Al Ittihad, managed by former Wolves and Tottenham boss, Nuno Espirito Santo, finished 5 points ahead Cristiano Ronaldo’s Nassr in the just concluded season.
N’Golo Kante is expected to join Benzema at Al-Ittihad while Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has reportedly received an offer to move to Al-Nassr, according to reports.
The has been speculation that Lionel Messi could also move to the league following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain.
“It’s a good league and there are many good players,” said Benzema. “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.”
Real head coach Carlo Ancelotti said Benzema’s decision to leave was a “massive surprise”.
“Yes it was a surprise, it was a massive surprise for everyone, but we had to understand that he thought about it twice and this is part of a process that started at this club some years ago, a transition that will continue next season,” Ancelotti said.
“So, we have enough time to think about what we need to do (to replace Benzema) and the squad will be very competitive next season, I can assure you of that.”
Tottenham striker Harry Kane could reportedly replace Benzema at Real Madrid.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.