The French striker acknowledged that he feels comfortable in a Muslim country as he is religious
“It’s a new challenge in my career”, said the former Madrid player
Frenchman Karim Benzema said in an interview with his new club Al Ittihad that Saudi Arabia is where he wants to be as it is important to him because it is a Muslim country and now a new chapter of his life is opening in which he wants to “elevate” Saudi football.
“Saudi Arabia is different from Europe. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia before and I feel good about it. Especially because it’s a Muslim country and how to say… it’s beautiful. For me it’s where I want to be because it’s important for me to be in a Muslim country“, he said in his first interview in French after being signed by Ittihad and saying goodbye to Real Madrid, where he enjoyed success for 14 years.
“Why Saudi Arabia? Because I’m Muslim and it’s a Muslim country, and I want to live here,” insisted the 35-year-old Frenchman of Algerian origin, during the more than six-minute interview published in the club’s official newspaper. canals based in the coastal city of Jeddah.
Benzema noted that he would like to speak Arabic “fluently” and also pointed out that Meccawhere he has already been, is “very close” to where he will live: “As a believer, it’s important to me and this is where I feel best and where I belong.”
He indicated that when he spoke to his family about moving to the Arab kingdom, he said “everyone was happy,” so They moved to Jeddah together, something “major,” she said.
During the conversation with the club, Benzema has made clear he wants to ‘elevate’ the club’s name, despite already being ‘tall’ as they are the second most successful in Saudi football after Al Hilalthe one who until yesterday was Leo Messi’s suitor.
“I feel good and happy, happy to have joined this legendary club. Of course, it’s a new challenge for me, a new life and I can’t wait to start training,” he said.
He showed his excitement to meet Cristiano Ronaldo, his “friend”, who was signed last December by Al Nassr, which also shows that Saudi Arabia is climbing positions in world football, he said.
“There are the big names. There’s Cristiano Ronaldo, on the one hand, and then there’s me. It’s important to elevate Saudi football, have a global impact because playing in Saudi Arabia is not only that, but you have to push and show what I’ve been able to do in Europe“, claimed.
The amount Benzema will be paid in the three seasons he signed with the club is unknown, although Saudi Arabia are earning campaign with millions of euros to recruit different soccer stars change image and show a more international one after having been isolated for decades by the ultra-conservatism of the authorities and society.