Karim Benzema at Real Madrid farewell – ‘I wanted to retire here’

Real Madrid bid farewell to Karim Benzema for the final time on Tuesday afternoon, as the French striker drew to a close his 14-year stay at the Santiago Bernabeu. After playing his final game on Sunday, and scoring in a 1-1 draw against Athletic Club, Benzema was sent off by Florentino Perez during an event attended by a variety of the Real Madrid hierarchy.

Perez thanked for him for his commitment over his career, noting that Benzema arrived at Real Madrid ‘basically as a kid’, and leaves it is a legend. ‘You’re already eternal’, Perez said of Benzema, even showing a little more emotion for him than he usually allows. The pair have been close since Benzema arrived in 2009.

Benzema did not have a lengthy goodbye planned, and took a matter of minutes to thank those involved.

“Thank you very much to Real Madrid. It was a good journey in my life. I have been lucky to fulfil my dream as a child thanks to the president. When I saw you I said ‘he is the man who has brought Ronaldo and Zidane’. He is incredible. Today it’s time to go and see another story. The most important thing for me is that everything I’ve won I’ve enjoyed like a kid. As I said in my presentation ‘one, two and three, hala Madrid!”

He did note that he had originally intended to retire at Bernabeu, but that another opportunity caught his eye.

“Thanks also to Ancelotti, who gave me his confidence from the beginning. I’ve learned a lot with you. It’s a bit sad because I’m leaving my club. I signed for Madrid and I wanted to retire here, but it hasn’t been like that. I’ll always be a Madrid fan. Thanks also to the fans for always giving me that strength. Thank you all, truly.”

Benzema is reportedly headed to Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, where there are hundreds of millions on offer for him.

Either way, he leaves Real Madrid as one of their greatest ever forwards. Despite never being a forward defined by statistics, he leaves the club as their second-top scorer, and with a place in the hearts of many Madridistas.

Tags Florentino Perez Karim Benzema Real Madrid

1 Comment

  1. Farewell maestro!

    Noone thought Raul could be replaced, along came CR.

    When CR moved to greener pastures, Benz picked right up where CR left off.

    Looking forward to Vini stepping it up and shouldeing more responsibility, as he is still very young and can improve even more. Endrick too.

    Show goes on.

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