Former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema revealed the opportunity to live in a Muslim country was a major factor in his decision to move to Saudi Arabia.
Benzema completed his move from Real Madrid to Al-Ittihad on Tuesday and was unveiled in front of 60,000 people at the club’s King Abdullah Sports City.
Benzema's motivations for joining Al-Ittihad
Speaking to the Al Ittihad club media, when asked why he chose the club, the forward replied:
“Because it’s one of the top clubs in Saudi Arabia. It’s a club that sees a lot of passion from the fans and has many trophies.
When asked why Saudi Arabia, Benzema added: “Because I’m Muslim and this is a Muslim country, and I have always wanted to live here.
“It’s different, it’s different to Europe. I’ve already been to Saudi Arabia and I feel good about it. Most importantly, it’s a Muslim country, it’s beloved and it’s beautiful.
“It’s where I want to be because it’s important for me to be in a Muslim country, where I feel people (are) already like me. It will allow me to have a new life and I can’t wait to live there and to speak Arabic fluently, it’s important for me.
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