Are footballers Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi moving to Saudi Arabia? 

Saudi Arabia’s TV channel Al-Ekhbariya claims Benzema has signed with the Al-Ittihad team.

Saudi Arabia is fast becoming a sporting destination. Not only has it secured footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for its Al Nassr team, but there are talks of more high-profile signings in the pipeline. The latest names include footballers Karim Benzema and, of course, Lionel Messi. 

Saudi Arabia’s TV channel Al-Ekhbariya claimed that Benzema had signed with Al-Ittihad. The channel claimed that the President and Deputy of Al-Ittihad were in Spain “to officially sign” Benzema in a “record transfer with Real Madrid”. Benzema’s departure from Real Madrid was recently confirmed. Plus, the channel claimed that Benzema had agreed on a two-year deal with the Al-Ittihad club, which is based in Jeddah. 

Benzema hails from Lyon, France. In 2009, he made a record-breaking football transfer to Real Madrid, and the deal was worth €35 million. He is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time, and is Real Madrid’s second-highest goal scorer.

Rumours have been circulating around Messi moving to Saudi Arabia. In May 2023, there were reports in France that the footballer will be moving to Saudi Arabia. The move was described as a “done deal”, and he is expected to play for the kingdom’s Al Hilal.

Messi and his family were last seen in the kingdom at the start of May. During his trip, he was fulfilling his new role as Saudi Tourism brand ambassador. The group visited Riyadh and toured the city, from Bujairi Terrace to Via Riyadh. 

If Benzema and Messi do move to Saudi Arabia, they would join fellow footballer and Riyadh resident, Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2022, Ronaldo signed a $439 million deal with the country’s football team, Al Nassr. He moved to Riyadh with his partner Georgina Rodriguez and five children.

We’re excited.

GO: Visit www.ittihadclub.sa for more information. 

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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