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Karim Benzema reveals why he swapped Madrid for Saudi Arabia

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(Photo by Khalid Alhaj/MB Media/Getty Images)

Karim Benzema surprised everyone when he made the decision to leave Real Madrid for Saudi Arabia, despite agreeing a one-year contract extension with Los Blancos.

Real Madrid allowed him to leave since they didn’t wish to have a strained relationship with their former captain, although they had already planned the upcoming season with him.

The 35-year-old leaving left a significant void in their attack as they lacked a top tier forward for the following season.

In an interview with the Saudi League, the French striker has disclosed the reason behind his departure from Madrid to Arabia: “As a Muslim, when you are in Mecca, you feel at peace… it’s an exceptional place. I feel at peace here.”

Benzema expresses his contentment with living in Arabia due to the country’s culture, religion, and the warm reception he receives from people on the streets and in every stadium, he plays in: “Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country. They welcomed me with open arms, and I felt loved immediately.”

The French striker now feels comfortable living in a country that practices the same religion as his, allowing him to be near Mecca.

The new Al-Ittihad player also mentions that, aside from being a Muslim country, he wanted to make the move to a developing league and contribute to its growth: “When the football project began in Saudi Arabia, it seemed enormous in all aspects. I wanted to be a part of it and help football progress in this country.”

In the interview, he doesn’t mention money as the primary reason for his move from Madrid to Arabia. Like Cristiano, Benzema asserts that the level of the Saudi Arabian league is very good and that it surprised him upon arrival.

He states that he knew nothing about this league in Europe, but now European viewers can watch its matches: “There is a lot of passion here, and I am happy with the level of play. I am genuinely surprised by the level in Saudi Arabia because in Europe, we don’t see many football matches from here. Now we do.”

The Frenchman also took a moment to reminisce about his time at Real Madrid, from which he retains fond memories: “I am very happy and proud of everything I have achieved and won with Real Madrid. But I think it was a good time for me to try a new change in my life after all that I had already won in Madrid,” he stated.

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  1. Pingback: Cristiano Ronaldo beats Messi and LeBron James to top Forbes highest paid athletes list | Los Blancos Live

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