The Real Madrid legend became one of the first big-name stars to head to the Saudi Pro League in the summer, signing for reigning champions Al-Ittihad after the expiration of his contract. However, what was to be a serene final few years of the 36-year-old’s career, has quickly turned into a nightmare.
Ittihad have massively struggled to perform this term and have dealt with significant off-pitch turmoil. Highly successful former River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo replaced Nuno Espirito Santo late last year, but Benzema is nevertheless said to be regretting his decision to head to the Middle East.
That’s at least according to former France international Jean-Michel Larqué. The former PSGman said on Jerome Rothen’s show: “Benzema regrets it. Of course, everyone does what they want, but making his exit a success was important. I remember that he had expressed his desire to finish his career at Real Madrid.”
“He had the opportunity to do so. He could have stopped by leaving through the front door, after having brought several titles and obtained the Ballon d’Or. He got lost by joining an artificial championship.”
Benzema to…Man Utd?
Benzema did not feature in Al-Ittihad’s final game of 2023, having obtained permission to miss the game by the club and his coach. Whether a move is on the cards remains to be seen, but there is a scenario in which he could make a triumphant return to Europe.
Man Utd have struggled for goals all season, with star striker Rasmus Hojlund only scoring once in the league, and are looking for a short-term solution to the problem. Instead of going for someone like Timo Werner or Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, they should target Benzema, according to club legend Louis Zaha.
“He will shake up the United frontline and that’s what they need. He will definitely score goals and he will link up the play a lot better,” Zaha told BettingOdds.com before admitting that a deal is unlikely to materialise: “It’s just a dream, but Karim is still a very professional guy, he’s the type of striker that Hojlund will learn from, but that’s just a fantasy.”