French striker Karim Benzema revealed that his desire to reside in a Muslim country played a significant role in his decision to swap Europe for Saudi Arabia in a highly lucrative deal that has captivated the football world.
During his unveiling in front of an impressive 60,000 fans by Al Ittihad, Benzema expressed his reasons for choosing the club when asked by the Al Ittihad club media.
He stated, “Because it’s one of the top clubs in Saudi Arabia. It’s a club that sees a lot of passion from the fans and has many trophies.”
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When further probed about his decision to opt for Saudi Arabia, Benzema emphasised, “Because I’m Muslim and this is a Muslim country, and I have always wanted to live here. It’s different, it’s different to Europe. I’ve already been to Saudi Arabia and I feel good about it.”
“Most importantly, it’s a Muslim country, it’s beloved and it’s beautiful. It’s where I want to be because it’s important for me to be in a Muslim country, where I feel people (are) already like me. It will allow me to have a new life and I can’t wait to live there and to speak Arabic fluently, it’s important for me.”
????????????️ Karim Benzema, unveiled infront of 60,000 Al Ittihad supporters! He'll wear the no.9 shirt out in Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/zuydbyHbfQ
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) June 8, 2023
Benzema will earn around 200 million euros for two seasons plus an optional season, a bonus of around 20 million euros for being an ambassador for the 2030 World Cup bid, plus more fine details that will be unveiled as time goes on.