French football star, Karim Benzema has revealed that he didn’t snub Real Madrid’s one-year contract extension offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad due to money.
Karim Benzema, who played for Real Madrid for about 14 years, stressed that he decided to join the Saudi Pro League club because of his religion (Islam) and the fact that he likes to settle in the Islamic country.
Karim Benzema who is a five-time UEFA Champions League winner and the reigning Ballon d’Or winner is the second very high-profile footballer to join the Saudi Pro League after five times Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 35-year-old French footballer joined Al-Ittihad for a deal that will keep him at the club until 2026 and earns him a whopping €200 million per year.
Despite the outrageous wages, Benzema who was unveiled as an Al-Ittihad player in front of 60,000 fans at the club’s King Abdullah Sports City on Thursday, June 8, said money didn’t motivate him to make the transfer move.
When reporters asked Karim Benzema what prompted him to join the Saudi Pro League, the Algerian-born French footballer said, “Well, because I’m Muslim and this is a Muslim country, and I have always wanted to live here.”
The retired France international added, “I’m so ready to show my talent in this new challenge, there are so many big names playing here in this league – Cristiano Ronaldo and now me”.