Karim Benzema will have a new club as of June 30. The Frenchman finally accepted an astronomical offer from the Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, making him the highest paid player on the planet behind only Cristiano Ronaldo.
That said, everything depends on what happens with the future of Lionel Messi, because if the Argentinian ends up accepting the Saudi proposal of 400 million euros, he would surpass both the former Real Madrid stars
On Sunday, Benzema ended up saying ‘yes’ to a deal that will see him under contract until 2025, with an option to stay until 2026.
He will be paid 100 million euros per season, plus a bonus of 20 million euros to work as an ambassador for the 2030 World Cup, which Saudi Arabia is bidding to host.
So, the total amount that the former Real Madrid player will earn will be no less than 220 million euros, and it could reach 320 million euros.
Bearing in mind that at Real Madrid he earned 28 million gross per season, the difference is quite substantial.
To this we must also add the fact that in Saudi Arabia there is no income tax, so he will have very important tax advantages.
In other words, if we consider what he received at Madrid in net figures to be worth around 14 million euros, Karim Benzema will receive 86 million euros net more per season, not counting the 20 million bonus.
This is another sign that Saudi Arabia is betting heavily on the Arab league having an increased relevance, and what better way to do it than to bring together in the same competition players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi.
Interesting facts about Al-Ittihad, Karim Benzema’s future team
The Frenchman will find himself with a team that has just won the Arab League, beating Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, who had just played against Real Madrid and Benzema in the final of the Club World Cup six months ago.
This Jeddah-based team has some familiar faces and intriguing facts to take into account. The Saudi team is coached by Nuno Espirito Santo, the former Valencia coach.
The Santo Tome native made the move to Arab football after his Premier League adventure with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton came to a premature end.
They also boast in their ranks the league’s top scorer, Abderrazak Hamdallah, who scored 21 goals and played a part in Morocco’s historic fourth place finish at the World Cup in Qatar.
Al-Ittihad‘s home games are played at a stadium the French striker is already familiar with, King Abdullah Sports City, where Real Madrid won the first Spanish Super Cup to be played on Arabian soil back in 2020.
The club boasts a total of 35 titles: nine Leagues, nine King’s Cups, eight Prince’s Cups, three Federation Cups, one Super Cup, five AFC Championships, one Cup Winners’ Cup, one Arab Champions League and one Gulf Club Cup.