Benzema Insists He Is Happy in Saudi Arabia, Rubbishes Reports Linking Him Back To Europe

Benzema Insists He Is Happy in Saudi Arabia, Rubbishes Reports Linking Him Back To Europe

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 22, 2024 at 7:48 PM
In this article:
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Al-Ittihad Club logoFFrance logo
Al-Ittihad Club logo
Al-Ittihad Club
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N. H. S. d. E. Santo
  • Karim Benzema has replied to rumours linking him back to Europe
  • The 36-year-old joined Al-Ittihad at the start of the current season
  • He recently scored an own goal as his side reached the AFC CL last-8

Al-Ittihad talisman Karim Benzema has finally addressed rumours linking him to a return to Europe.

The Frenchman joined other top football stars in opting for lucrative deals in the Middle East when he made a mega transfer from Real Madrid at the beginning of the season.

Karim Benzema, AFC Champions League, Al-Ittihad, Navbahor Namangan, Saudi Pro League, Europe
Karim Benzema celebrates scoring a goal, which was later ruled out for offside against Navbahor in the AFC Champions League. Photo by Getty Images.
Source: Getty Images

Since his move to the Saudi Pro League, Benzema has scored 12 goals and provided six assists in 22 games across all competitions, according to Transfermarkt.

Despite his decent performance for the Tigers, the 36-year-old is reportedly dissatisfied with his time in the Gulf country and is seeking a return to Europe.

He was previously implicated as a factor in Nuno Espirito Santo's dismissal and has since struggled with injuries, resulting in sporadic appearances for Al-Ittihad.

However, in an effort to address the speculation surrounding his future, the 2022 Ballon d'Or recipient unequivocally stated his intention to remain in Saudi Arabia, dismissing reports of a potential move back to Europe as "lies."

“I have no problems with Gallardo. Everyone who said that I want to return to Europe is a liar. I am happy at Al Ittihad,” Benzema said, as quoted by The Nassr Zone on X (formerly called Twitter).

Benzema helps Ittihad to AFC CL quarterfinals

Meanwhile, Benzema was thrust into the spotlight for both commendable and regrettable actions as Al-Ittihad fought back from a goal behind to triumph over Navbahor Namangan 2-1, securing passage to the AFC Champions League quarterfinals, Sports Brief reported.

The Frenchman played a role in both goals for his team, unintentionally scoring an own goal and providing an assist for the equaliser.

Despite his side's dominance, Benzema faced a series of near misses, with one of his attempts being nullified for offside following a VAR review.

Nevertheless, his team emerged victorious and advanced to the next phase of the tournament.

Benzema and Al Ittihad manager in heated exchange

Sports Brief earlier reported that despite his promising beginning at the club, the former Ballon d'Or winner has quickly become discontented with life at the Jeddah-based side.

According to Marca, Benzema was instructed by Gallardo to train alone after an initial session with the rest of the squad.

However, Benzema reportedly reacted negatively to the directive, openly defying his manager's orders before leaving the training session.

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Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.