Benzema says it is 'impossible' to forget Real as he bids farewell
Karim Benzema has vowed he will never forget Real Madrid.
The striker will leave the Bernabeu in the summer when his contract expires after 14 years at the club.
The France international scored 354 goals in 648 games, won a club-record 25 trophies and is now expected to move to Saudi Arabia to join Al-Ittihad.
“I’ll never forget Real Madrid because it’s impossible,” he told a farewell press conference.
“It’s difficult to talk. There are so many emotions. I wanted to thank Real Madrid and my team-mates. It’s been a good journey in my life.
“I was lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream thanks to the president, who a long time ago, when I was just 21 years old, went to my house, with my parents.
“When I saw you I said, he’s the man who brought Zizou and Ronaldo and now he wants me in his team. Thank you very much for that.
“I’ll never forget Real Madrid because it is impossible. It’s the best club in the world and in history, that’s as good as it gets. It’s time for me to leave today and to have another story, but the most important thing for me is what I’ve won here.
“It’s a little bit of a sad day, because I’m leaving this club and that pains me. My dream was in my head, I signed for Madrid and I wanted to finish at Madrid, but life sometimes gives you another opportunity and I’ve taken it with all my family.”
Benzema joined from Lyon in 2009 and won four LaLiga titles and five Champions League crowns. He also won the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
Real president Florentino Perez said: “Today is a very difficult day for me. It’s a day that brings back memories and the emotions of the last 14 years and it’s also a day of sentiment and emotions for all madridistas.
“A period of enormous anticipation began 14 years ago for all madridistas, one of the most impressive in our 121 years of history.”