Real Madrid Bids Farewell to Karim Benzema, French Striker Departs
Karim Benzema, the esteemed French striker, is set to bid farewell to Real Madrid after an illustrious 14-year tenure at the club. Real Madrid officially confirmed Benzema’s departure, announcing that the 35-year-old forward has reached an agreement with Al-Ittihad, the reigning champions of the Saudi Pro League. Nuno Espirito Santo, the former manager of Wolves, will guide Benzema at Al-Ittihad, with reports suggesting that the Frenchman is on the verge of signing a two-year contract with the Saudi club.
In his final appearance for Real Madrid, Benzema left his mark by converting a second-half penalty against Athletic Bilbao in the last league match of the season. He concluded the campaign with an impressive record of 31 goals and six assists in 43 games across all competitions.
Throughout his time at the Bernabeu, Benzema amassed a remarkable total of 658 appearances, finding the back of the net 354 times and cementing his status as the club’s second highest all-time leading scorer. His contributions played a pivotal role in Real Madrid’s success, including four La Liga triumphs and five UEFA Champions League victories.
Carlo Ancelotti, the head coach of Real Madrid, had previously expressed his belief that club legends should retire while still wearing the club’s colors. Real Madrid, in an official statement, acknowledged Benzema’s departure and expressed deep gratitude and affection towards the French striker.
The club commended Benzema for his exemplary conduct, unwavering professionalism, and embodiment of Real Madrid’s core values throughout his remarkable career. The statement emphasized that Benzema has earned the right to determine his future, and regardless of his destination, Real Madrid will always be his home. To honor his legacy, an institutional homage ceremony will be held at Real Madrid Sport City on June 6, which will be attended by club president Florentino Pérez.
With Benzema’s imminent departure, speculation has begun to circulate regarding his potential replacement. The Times previously reported that Real Madrid has identified Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane as a primary target should Benzema leave.
However, Ancelotti declined to comment on the club’s interest in Kane, stressing the importance of respecting both the player and his current club. While fans may dream of a Kylian Mbappé transfer, it is widely regarded as an improbable scenario.
Instead, attention has shifted to Harry Kane, who is viewed as a top-tier candidate for Real Madrid. At nearly 30 years old, Kane’s established reputation and wealth of experience make him an enticing option, as it is believed that he could seamlessly integrate into the team.
Reports suggest a positive relationship between Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, which could potentially facilitate a smooth transfer. However, the financial aspect poses a challenge, with Kane’s price tag estimated to be at least €100 million. Real Madrid will need to consider their economic circumstances and the ongoing reconstruction of the Bernabeu before pursuing such a significant investment.
As speculation continues to swirl, Real Madrid finds itself tasked with finding a suitable successor to fill the void left by Benzema. Whether they pursue Harry Kane or explore alternative options, the club’s objective remains to maintain competitiveness and strengthen the squad for the upcoming season. The decisions made in the transfer market will shape Real Madrid’s future and their pursuit of further triumphs both domestically and in European competitions.