Real Madrid stars wrapping up their spectacular careers in the Saudi Arabian league is becoming a recurrent story.
Karim Benzema, who recently joined Al Ittihad, has followed in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps by joining Al Nassr.
While the Saudi league is now behind Europe’s top five leagues, the financial strength on display continues to attract football’s biggest talents.
Benzema has signed a two-year contract extension with Al Ittihad. The 35-year-old will make about €200 million in net salary per season, including marketing partnerships. Cristiano, who established himself as a trendsetter, was the first to provide attention to the Saudi Arabian league.
The Real Madrid icon has often spoken poetically about the league. He spoke to the media about his old friend Benzema earlier this week while in Madrid (h/t BeSoccer):
“I knew Benzema was coming to Saudi, which is why I said the Saudi league will be among the top five in the future, and more stars will come.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner appears to be correct, as renowned players begin to go to Saudi Arabia. N’Golo Kante is expected to become Al Ittihad’s latest acquisition.
In addition to praising his new surroundings, Cristiano did not miss an occasion to compliment his former club.
As a Madridista, he played a historic role in Real Madrid’s three-peat and won four Champions Leagues, therefore he believes “Real Madrid will certainly win more Champions Leagues in the future.”
The Portuguese, who are well-versed in Real Madrid’s winning culture, remain confident in Los Blancos’ talents.
While Cristiano contributed significantly to Real Madrid’s Champions League victories, the club continued to expand its sphere of influence in Europe after being crowned champions prior to this season.