Football News

Real Madrid confirm Karim Benzema will leave after 14 years at the club

By Ben Green

Published: 12:41, 4 June 2023

Real Madrid have confirmed the departure of Karim Benzema this summer after 14 years of service at the Bernabeu.

The current Ballon d’Or holder — who joined Los Blancos in 2009 from Lyon — is set to leave upon the expiration of his contract later this month.

During his time in Madrid, the 35-year-old has won five Champions Leagues, four La Ligas and became the club’s second highest scorer in their history, with his 353 goals in all competitions (across 647 appearances) sitting below only Cristiano Ronaldo (450 goals).

There are strong reports Benzema will be leaving to join Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad, who are currently managed by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo — he is set to sign a two-year deal.

“Real Madrid CF and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to end his brilliant and unforgettable period as a player for our club,” a Real Madrid statement read.

“Real Madrid would like to show its gratitude and affection for who is already one of our greatest legends.

“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been an example of donduct 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 he wish him and all his family the best in this new phase of his life.

“Next Tuesday, June 6, at 12:00pm, an institutional act of homage and farewell to Karim Benzema will take place at Real Madrid Sport City, which will be attended by our president Florentino Perez.”

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The news breaks just a day after Los Blancos also confirmed the departure of Eden Hazard. The former Chelsea forward had his contract terminated by mutual consent a year before his deal was set to expire and will leave the club at the end of this month.

The 32-year-old had an injury-hit and inconsistent stint at the Bernabeu following his £89m move from Stamford Bridge in 2019. He leaves having appeared just 76 times in four seasons, scoring only seven goals and will now be the subject of much transfer debate this summer.

A statement read: “Real Madrid Football Club and Eden Hazard have reached an agreement whereby the player will leave the club as of 30 June 2023.

“Eden Hazard has been part of our club for four seasons, during which time he has won 8 titles: 1 European Cup, 1 Club World Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 2 LaLiga titles, 1 Copa del Rey and 2 Spanish Super Cups.

“Real Madrid would like to express our affection to Eden Hazard and we wish him and his family the best of luck for the next stage of his career.”