Karim Benzema, the French striker, is set to leave the Spanish giants after a remarkable 14-year stint at Real Madrid.

Departing as Real Madrid’s second highest goalscorer, Benzema’s announcement on Sunday (June 4) revealed that he has accepted an astronomical offer from Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad. This new opportunity positions him as the second highest paid player in the world, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Reports indicate that Benzema has inked a two-year contract with Al-Ittihad. The managerial reins of the club are held by former Wolves and Valencia boss, Nuno Espirito Santo.

The financial terms of the deal are truly staggering. The Frenchman is slated to earn 100 million euros per season. He will additionally receive a 20 million-euro bonus for serving as an ambassador for the 2030 World Cup. Saudi Arabia is bidding to be the host country for the event.

As a result, Benzema’s total earnings are expected to surpass 220 million euros. They could even reach 320 million euros. This is in stark contrast to the 28 Million gross per season he was earning at Real Madrid. The difference in earnings is substantial.

In his final appearance for Real Madrid against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, Benzema displayed his skills one last time. He scored the equalizing goal from a second-half penalty. This goal brought his tally for the season to an impressive 31 goals and 6 assists in 43 games across all competitions.

Real Madrid pays tribute to Karim Benzema

The Spanish club said in a statement: “Real Madrid CF and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to end his brilliant and unforgettable period as a player for our club. Real Madrid would like to show its gratitude and affection for one of our greatest legends.”

The statement added:

“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been an example of conduct and professionalism, and he has represented the values ​​of our club. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future.Madridistas and all the fans around the world have enjoyed his magical and unique football, which has made him one of the great icons of our club and one of the great legends of world football.”

“Real Madrid is and will always be his home, and we wish him and all his family the best in this new phase of his life.”

During his tenure at Real Madrid, Benzema made an impressive 658 appearances for the club. He also scored an astounding 354 goals.

In addition to individual achievements, Benzema played a pivotal role in the team’s success. He secured four LaLiga titles and lifted the Champions League trophy five times.