“Taking the P*ss Out of the People Who Paid You” – Karim Benzema Slammed For Eyeing Saudi League Exit Against Al Ittihad’s Wishes

Published 01/23/2024, 11:21 PM EST

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via Reuters

7 months into joining Al Ittihad for a deal that is north of $200 million, Karim Benzema has requested an exit! The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner seems to be hellbent on moving out of Saudi. He also reportedly refused a loan move to a rival Middle Eastern club. If the 36-year-old was to leave Al Ittihad, he would likely join his boyhood club- Lyon. Anyhow, pundits in France are not happy with the Real Madrid icon. Much like Arab media, they’ve now called him out for ‘showing everyone he doesn’t care‘.

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Karim Benzema’s Al Ittihad stint became the talking point in the latest episode of RMC’s Rothen s’igne podcast. The host, Rothen Jerome, did not hold back from criticizing the Frenchman who is ‘under pressure’ in Al Ittihad. Upon arrival, he [Benzema] was never at his best sportingly. The preparation was not good. The matches, I saw them from Karim Benzema. And don’t let anyone tell me that they were good matches…So that means that you’re more or less taking the p*ss out of the people who very graciously paid you,”  said Jerome Rothen. Al Ittihad had agreed to pay Benzema $107 million a year.

Rothen just echoed what Saudi journalists and Al Ittihad fans have been telling Benzema. Despite scoring 12 times in 20 appearances for the Dammam-based outfit, he invites such intense criticism. However, Al Ittihad currently struggles as the seventh seed in the Saudi League table after coming off a league victory last season. Besides, Al Ittihad is incensed at him for joining back for training 17 days late.

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Head coach Marcelo Gallardo also excluded him from the club’s training tour to Dubai. Anyhow, Karim Benzema’s much-coveted departure from the Saudi club won’t be an easy one.

EPL or Ligue 1? Karim Benzema could struggle to find a new club if Al Ittihad exit materializes

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Rumors heavily link Karim Benzema to English Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea. However, the latest updates suggest that both Manchester United and Arsenal are quite unlikely to make a move for the veteran. Meanwhile, the star striker is rumored to move to Stamford Bridge on loan. However, club legend Pat Nevin has urged The Blues not to proceed with the Benzema move.

Should the EPL clubs fail to grant Karim Benzema an escape route, Lyon could reportedly save him. Both Lyon and the 36-year-old won’t have a problem with the switch, considering he started there as a 9-year-old. Nevertheless, Lyon is struggling financially and wouldn’t match what Al Ittihad has been paying the veteran striker.

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What are your thoughts on the Karim Benzema situation? Where will he head next? Tell us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

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One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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