A few months after Al-Nassr signed Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo, their rivals Al-Ittihad followed suit and brought another Real Madrid star Karim Benzema to the Saudi Pro League on a three-year deal. Benzema was unveiled in front of a 60,000-strong crowd in a grand presentation in Jeddah. The five-time Champions League winner showed off his 2022 Ballon d’Or to the big crowd who roared after he pulled out the trophy.
Benzema scored 44 goals and had 15 assists in all competitions in the 2021-22 season, winning the Champions League, Spanish Super Cup, and La Liga that season. The striker leaves Europe with a long-standing legacy as he had 420 goals and 192 assists along with 33 titles in France and Spain.
Saudi Arabia now has six Balon d'Or awards in the country with Cristiano Ronaldo being a five-time winner and Benzema's 2022 award. The presentation of Benzema was huge with the player coming out to high-five the children on either side of the walkway as he made his entrance at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.
Watch Benzema's unveiling in Saudi Arabia:
Fireworks went off as Benzema lifted his Ballon d’Or which he received after a terrific 2021-22 season at Real Madrid.
Watch the video here:
The French striker will be joined by midfielder Ngolo Kante at Al Ittihad as the Saudis continue to bring in more and more European superstars to their league with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Angel Di Maria, Jordi Alba, and Sergio Ramos being linked with moves to the desert kingdom in local media.