Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has refused to speak about his future as his contract at the Bernabeu winds down ahead of an expected summer switch to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.
After 14 glorious years with Los Blancos, which have seen him win 24 trophies, play 647 games and score 353 goals, Benzema is on course to be a free agent at the end of the month.
90min understands that the 35-year-old Frenchman has already informed Real of his plan to leave, with newly crowned Saudi Pro League champions Al-Ittihad set to secure his signature on a lucrative contract until 2025 worth well in excess of €200m.
Benzema is thought to have previously agreed a contract extension in Madrid, but it went unsigned, paving the way for him to join former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed with Al-Nassr January, in Saudi Arabia instead.
Benzema was honoured at an event on Thursday night with the Marca Legend award.
During a Q&A session on stage, he was asked about his future, but instead pointed to the fact that there is still one more game of the season to play in La Liga.
“Why do I have to talk about the future? I’m at Real Madrid. The reality is another, not what is said on the internet,” the player commented.
It is not clear exactly what ‘reality’ he was referring to.
“I am very proud of my work,” Benzema added. “I enjoy every moment in Madrid. Going to Valdebebas to train is not a job. In my head, I enjoy Madrid. Yesterday, today and tomorrow in training.”
Benzema also reflected at his time with Real, joining the club in 2009 after making his name as a teen prodigy at Lyon.
“Proud of my career,” he said. “I remember when I signed for Real Madrid that I was a child, 21 years old. I just wanted to enjoy myself and look at all that I’ve won. There is no other club like Real Madrid, playing at the Santiago Bernabu, the place where the greatest of this sport have played. It was always my dream because it is the best club in history.
“[Florentinto Perez] is the man who has allowed me to be here today. The man who signed Zinedine Zidane and the man who brought me to Real Madrid.”