A goal to say goodbye: Benzema leaves Real befitting his status
Also in his last game for Real Madrid Karim Benzema does what he does best: he scores a goal. With the draw against Bilbao, Real secured second place behind champions FC Barcelona.
Karim Benzema spread his arms, gave kisses and let the fans and teammates celebrate: the French striker said goodbye to Real Madrid with a goal, befitting his status. In his last game for the Royals, the 35-year-old scored the equalizer with a penalty kick in a 1-1 (0-0) win at home against Athletic Bilbao (72nd minute). Just two minutes later he was substituted for Luka Modric to thunderous applause.
With the draw, the Spanish record champions secured second place in the table in the season finale Atletico Madrid, which played 2-2 (1-1) at FC Villarreal. But more important that evening was Benzema’s successful exit.
Benzema is associated with Al-Ittihad
The world footballer of 2022 will be officially bid farewell on Tuesday at the “Royal” training center in Valdebebas in the north-east of Madrid with a celebration. “Real Madrid want to show all their gratitude and affection to the man who is already one of our greatest legends,” the club said. The striker leaves Real after 14 years, 648 competitive games with 354 goals and a total of 25 titles.
According to media reports, Benzema is likely to follow his former clubmate Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia. Benzema, whose contract in Madrid expires on June 30, was offered an annual salary of 100 million euros in the Gulf state, it said. According to reports from Saudi state television, he will play at club Al-Ittihad in the future.
Benzema, who is leaving the club along with Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio, made another appearance for Real on Sunday. The better team was initially though Bilbao, which deservedly took the lead through Oihan Sancet (49th). Former world champion Toni Kroos caused a hand penalty early on when the ball hit his upper arm in the penalty area. But Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved the penalty against Mikel Vesga (10th).