Benzema is Real Madrid’s second-highest goalscorer of all time and has won a record 25 trophies with the club – including five Champions League and four LaLiga titles – as well as the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
“Real Madrid CF and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to put an end to his brilliant and unforgettable time as a player at our club.” Madrid said in a statement. “Real Madrid want to show their gratitude and all their affection for a player who is already one of our greatest legends.
“Karim Benzema’s career at Real Madrid has been an example of conduct and professionalism and he has represented our club’s values. Karim Benzema has earned the right to decide his future… Real Madrid is and will always be his home and we wish him and his entire family all the best in this new phase of life.”
The club announced that an event to pay tribute to Benzema would be held at their training ground on Tuesday 6 June.
ESPN reported earlier in the week that Benzema was offered a two-year deal worth €400m for a move to Saudi Arabia in January, the same deal as Cristiano Ronaldowho joined Al Nassr after his departure Manchester United.
The centre-forward was originally scheduled to stay at Madrid for another season until June 2024, but instead opts to take on a new challenge.
He took on the role of Madrid’s top scorer when Ronaldo left in 2018 and last year had the best season of his career, scoring 27 goals in LaLiga and 15 in the Champions League while the club lifted both trophies. That form was recognized when Benzema was awarded the Ballon d’Or in October.
The Madrid captain has been struggling with injuries this season and has been absent World Championshipbut still scored 18 goals in 23 LaLiga games.
His 25 trophies at the club – a record shared with marcelo – consist of four La Liga titles, five Champions Leagues, three Copas del Rey, four Spanish Super Copas, four UEFA Super Cups and five FIFA Club World Cups.