By Razeen Gutta
Karim Benzema will bid farewell to Real Madrid 14 years after signing on as one of the most sought-after young talents.
He leaves the club as their second all-time leading goalscorer and says goodbye as a club legend.
The Frenchman scored 354 goals in 658 appearances for Los Blancos, winning five Champions League and four La Liga titles in Madrid.
The club thanked him in a heartfelt statement, calling him one of Real Madrid’s greatest legends.
“Real Madrid CF and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to end his brilliant and unforgettable period as a player for our club,” the club said in a statement.
“Real Madrid would like to show its gratitude and affection to a player who is already one of our greatest legends.
“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been an example of conduct 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 we wish him and all his family the best in this new phase of his life.”
Benzema could be on his way to Saudi Arabia, where Al-Ittihad are reported to have put forward a big money offer to the current Ballon d’Or holder.
The news of his departure has raised questions on where the European champions will look towards for a new striker, with England captain Harry Kane among the rumoured candidates to take the number nine shirt.
Pictured above: Karim Benzema
Image source: @brfootball