Karim Benzema, the Ballon d’Or winner, appeared visibly uncomfortable as his Al Ittihad teammates chanted his name.
The 35-year-old striker recently ended his remarkable 14-year tenure at Real Madrid to embark on a new chapter with the Saudi Arabian champions, signing a lucrative three-year deal.
During his illustrious time with Los Blancos, Benzema achieved tremendous success, securing 25 trophies, including five Champions League titles and four La Liga championships.
He also became the club’s second-highest goal-scorer with 354 goals, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo.
Benzema cited his desire to live in a Muslim country as a reason for making the move.
However, it is evident that the financial package he received would have also played a significant role in his decision.
Allegedly, the French international is set to earn nearly £200 million per season at Al Ittihad, which is made possible by the club’s takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
This mind-boggling contract translates to approximately £6 per second for Benzema.
Benzema serenaded by teammates
Footage has emergedof Benzema’s teammates serenading their new striker with a chant on the team bus.
As seen in the video below, the forward, who is sitting at the back of the coach with his headphones still lodged in his ears, wears a blank expression as the Al Ittihad players enthusiastically sing to their star attacker.
— نادي الاتحاد السعودي (@ittihad) July 18, 2023
Benzema then joins in, unenthusiastically clapping along to the tune, prompting hilarious responses on social media.
Get French Football News wrote: “Karim Benzema visibly uncomfortable as his Al Ittihad team-mates chant his name.”
Meanwhile, one social media wrote: “Bro doesn’t want to be there,” while another tweeted: “From the biggest club in the world to that.”
A third person said: “Bro’s starving for that first payday.”
It seems that Al Ittihad is making significant moves in the transfer market, as they have secured the services of another high-profile player.
N’Golo Kante, a key member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning team, has also joined the Saudi Arabian club on a three-year deal, becoming teammates with Karim Benzema.
Reports indicate that Kante, the former midfielder of Leicester City and Chelsea, has signed a deal worth approximately £86 million per year.
This lucrative contract reflects the club’s strong ambition to bolster their squad with top talents.
In addition to Kante’s signing, Al Ittihad has also acquired Portuguese winger Jota from Celtic for a reported fee of £25 million. Jota, who delivered an impressive performance for Celtic last season with 15 goals and 12 assists, has agreed to a three-year contract with the Saudi Pro League outfit.
These signings demonstrate Al Ittihad’s determination to build a competitive team and compete at the highest level in Saudi Arabian football and beyond.