Karim Benzema leaves Real Madrid for Saudi Arabia: Former Ballon d’Or winner to join Al-Ittihad

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Karim Benzema, one of the greatest strikers in the history of the sport, is reportedly leaving Real Madrid after 14 seasons, 25 trophies and five Champions League crowns. The 35-year-old striker is leaving to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, according to ESPN.

CBS Sports soccer reporter James Benge revealed the initial interest from Saudi Arabia back in April and on Wednesday reported that Al-Ittihad believed they were on the cusp of landing the former Lyon man.

The second-highest goal scorer in Real Madrid history behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who also plays in Saudi Arabia, Benzema claimed the 2022 Ballon d’Or after winning his fifth UCL crown with Los Blancos. 

There was the belief that he would stay for one more season until the summer of 2024 but now looks headed for a growingly popular destination in the Middle East, which is also courting Lionel Messi, N’Golo Kante and other global stars. 

CBS Sports will update this story as more information becomes available.

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