Karim Benzema Opens up About Struggles After Joining Al-Ittihad


Karim Benzema has opened up on his struggles since joining Al-Ittihad in 2023 and didn’t hold back in his assessment.

Karim Benzema hasn’t held back in his assessment of his time at Al-Ittihad after giving a brutally honest response in an interview. The Real Madrid legend joined the Saudi Pro League side in the summer of 2023 after 14 successful years in Spain.

Now, the French striker is struggling to live up to expectations in the emerging division in the Middle East despite the huge hype that followed him through the door. Former Premier League stars such as N’Golo Kante and Fabinho joined the club in the same transfer window, but the side managed by Marcelo Gallardo found themselves 30 points behind league leaders Al-Hilal.

It’s been a poor defense of the title they won in the previous campaign to date, and the form of the man brought in to fire them to a second league triumph in a row has been cause for concern. Although nine goals and seven assists from just 20 Saudi Pro League appearances is a respectable return for many players, Benzema was consistently scoring at a much higher rate while leading the line for Los Blancos.

An interview has surfaced where the 36-year-old was questioned about his struggles in his new team. His answer was interesting, as Benzema appeared to suggest it wasn’t down to his own form, but rather those around him.

Karim Benzema Explains Struggles

Pulling no punches in the aforementioned interview, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner suggested the difference in quality players around him between his current set of teammates and the world-class stars he shared a dressing room with at Real Madrid is a huge factor in his underwhelming campaign.

Benzema said: “Yes, because Al Ittihad is not the same team and the same names. I need help. I need someone to help me on the field.” In fairness, his regular strike partner – Abderrazak Hamdallah – has scored 25 goals in all competitions at the time of writing. Nonetheless, the ex-Los Blancos attacker doubled down on his assessment as he continued to say:

“I will not bring victory alone. I need other players and several other things!”

With the amount of money in the Saudi Pro League at the moment, it’s likely players will be recruited in the upcoming summer transfer window to get the five-time Champions League winner the support he desires. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool was heavily linked with a move from Liverpool at the start of the season.