Following the announcements of the departures of Eden Hazard and Mariano, Real Madrid made another exit official.
This one with a more prominent figure.
The Spanish giants confirmed the departure of perhaps their best player in Karim Benzema.
“Real Madrid Football Club and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to bring his brilliant and unforgettable time as a player at our club to a close,” the statement read.
“Real Madrid would like to show our gratitude and affection to a player who is already one of our greatest legends.”
His exit does raise some eyebrows considering what he said only a few days about rumors surrounding a possible exit.
“Talking about my future? For what?” Benzema said. “What is said comes from the Internet. And the Internet is not reality. I have a game on Saturday, I train tomorrow, so right now I’m in Madrid.”
As it turned out, the ‘right now’ part was doing the heavy lifting.
In any case, it puts an end to an amazing 14-year career for the French striker. A career where for the longest time Benzema played second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo. He sacrificed himself to make Ronaldo better and never publicly complained about it.
With Ronaldo gone, he became the focal point in attack and showed just how good of a player he is. His link-up play was superb and his ability to finish was second to none in recent seasons. So much so that he was able to win the Ballon d’or two seasons ago.
While his international career didn’t go as well, he won everything at Real Madrid and was a crucial figure in their Champions League success.
His next destination appears to be Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad with an announcement expected next week.
Benzema’s final game with Real Madrid will be at home against Athletic Bilbao. Then on June 6, the club will hold a farewell ceremony for the Frenchman.