Karim Benzema agrees to join Saudi champions Al-Ittihad after Real Madrid exit

Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has agreed terms on a three-year deal with Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad after leaving Real Madrid, the BBC reports.

French striker Benzema, 35, won 25 trophies – including five Champions Leagues and four La Ligas – in 14 years with Madrid but they agreed to let him leave his contract a year early.

He scored 354 goals for Real, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo, who hit 450 Real goals, plays for another Saudi club, Al-Nassr.

“It’s a good league and there are many good players,” said Benzema. “Cristiano Ronaldo is already there, a friend which shows Saudi Arabia is starting to further progress its level. I am here to win, like I did in Europe.

“I have been fortunate to achieve amazing things in my career and achieve everything I can in Spain and Europe. It now feels the time is right for a new challenge and project.”

Al-Ittihad are managed by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

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