Karim Benzema is leaving Real Madrid, the club announced on Sunday.
Real Madrid said in a statement announcing Benzema’s departure that he has earned to make the decision he prefers over his future.
The statement released on Sunday said: “Real Madrid Football Club and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to bring his brilliant and unforgettable time as a player at our club to a close.
“Real Madrid would like to show our gratitude and affection to a player who is already one of our greatest legends.”
“Karim Benzema joined our club in 2009, at just 21 years of age, and has been a fundamental player in this golden age of our history.”
The statement continued, during the 14 seasons in which he has represented “our badge and our shirt”, he has won 25 titles, a record number for any Real Madrid player: 5 European Cups, 5 Club World Cups, 4 European Super Cups, 4 Leagues, 3 King’s Cups and 4 Spanish Super Cups.
Benzema is the current UEFA Ballon d’Or and UEFA Player of the Year, as well as being included in the FIFA FIFPRO XI and winning the Pichichi Trophy 2022.
“Awards received after one of the most extraordinary seasons in our history, especially in the Champions League, in which our captain played some memorable matches that contributed to Real Madrid winning their 14th European Cup in Paris, being the top scorer of the competition with 15 goals,” the club said.
Benzema is the fifth player who has worn the Real Madrid shirt the most times with 647 appearances and is Real Madrid’s second all-time top scorer with 353 goals.
The 35-year-old Frenchman is also Real Madrid’s second-all-time top scorer in both La Liga and the European Cup.
He is also the fourth top scorer in the history of the Champions League and the fourth top scorer in the history of La Liga.
“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been a shining example of conduct and professionalism, and he has represented the values of our club,” the statement said.
“Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future.
“Madridistas and all the fans all over the world alike 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 always will be his home, and we wish him and all his family all the best in this new stage of his life.”
Next Tuesday, (6 June 2023), at noon (CEST), the official farewell to Benzema will take place at Real Madrid Sport City, which will be attended by club president, Florentino Pérez.
Some reports suggest that the Ballon d’Or winner is set to join a Jeddah-based side on a deal said to be worth more than £172 million per year.
Other players who are leaving Real Madrid include Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Ferland Mendy.