Karim Benzema: Al Ittihad Manager Wants Club's Board to Sack French Star

Karim Benzema: Al Ittihad Manager Wants Club's Board to Sack French Star

Isaac Darko
updated at August 24, 2023 at 6:40 AM
In this article:
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  • Al-Ittihad manager Nuno Espirito Santo reportedly wants a top star gone
  • The Portuguese coach says Karim Benzema does not fit his tactical style
  • The Frenchman joined the Saudi league club last month from Real Madrid

Nuno Espirito Santo has reportedly communicated to the Al-Ittihad board that the tactical approach he employs does not align well with the playing characteristics of Karim Benzema.

Benzema announced his departure from Real Madrid in June, ending a 14-year tenure marked by four La Liga triumphs and an impressive five UEFA Champions League victories.

The Frenchman went on to ink a contract with Al-Ittihad for a duration of two and a half years, reportedly valued at €600 million.

Nuno Espirito Santo, Karim Benzema, Al Ittihad
Nuno Espirito Santo has reportedly told the Al-Ittihad board that Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema does not fit into his tactical style. Credit: @goal
Source: Twitter

Benzema has made two appearances for Al-Ittihad this season and although he hasn't found the net himself, he did contribute an assist during a 3-0 triumph against Al-Raed.

However, a revelation from Saudi Arabian newspaper, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat - per Goal Arabia and SportBible - states Santo has notified the board that the Frenchman is not a suitable match for his playing style.

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton manager was also not an initiator of Benzema's acquisition, causing significant strain between the pair within the team's locker room.

Benzema wants Al-Ittihad captaincy

Meanwhile, Goal has also reported that Benzema had expressed a desire for the captaincy at Al-Ittihad, which the Portuguese coach has declined to give him.

With the current unease in his present setting, some believe the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner could find himself facing the possibility of an unexpected move away.

It remains to be seen what happens next at Al-Ittihad, yet such a disagreement is being tipped to lead to the departure of either the player or - as happens in many cases - the coach.

Benzema ranked second in Saudi

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on the summer transfer window witnessing a wave of eminent players transitioning from European football to the Saudi Pro League.

The footballing world was taken aback when it was revealed that Benzema, the reigning Ballon d'Or award holder, would embark on a new chapter in the country.

Having netted 354 goals for Real Madrid, the French striker solidified his stature as a dominant global forward, with Benzema ranked just behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)