Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has joined Al Ittihad, the Saudi Arabian side said on Tuesday, following the French striker’s exit from Real Madrid as a free agent in the close season.
According to media reports, the deal is estimated to be worth more than €100m.
The French striker, 35, said farewell to Real Madrid in a small, private ceremony closed to fans and media earlier, following a trophy-laden 14-year stay with the La Liga club.
There were no tears in a ceremony that lasted less than 20 minutes and in which only players, family and close friends were allowed to attend.
“I will never forget Real Madrid. It’s the best club in history. But I think today is the time to leave and to get to know another story,” Benzema told the small audience at Real’s training facilities.
“It’s difficult to talk with so many feelings, but I wanted to thank Real Madrid and my teammates. It was a good path in my life. I have been lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream.”
Having joined Real in 2009 from Olympique Lyonnais, Benzema became their main goal-scorer after Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus in 2018. Benzema scored 354 goals for Real to sit second on the club’s scoring list behind Ronaldo.
Real president Florentino Perez said: “Karim, you have been an example of behaviour and professionalism in our club.”
Madrid:Spain's anti-violence commission has proposed fines of €60,001 ($64,290) and two-year bans from stadiums for each of the four men accused of hanging an effigy of Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior by the neck off a bridge in Madrid in January.
The commission also proposed fines of 5,000 euros and one-year bans from stadiums for each of the three Valencia fans accused of racially insulting Vinícius during a Spanish league match on May 21.
The punishment was expected to be imposed by local authorities.
Spanish club Valencia had already banned the three fans for life from its stadium. The club was fined €27,000 and punished with the partial closure of Mestalla Stadium for three matches.
All seven people had been arrested a couple of days after the racial abuse in Valencia prompted an outpouring of support for Vinícius.
The seven people were released pending further investigation by authorities.