Triumphant welcome for Benzema in Saudi Arabia: "I am a Muslim, I belong"

Triumphant welcome for Benzema in Saudi Arabia: “I am a Muslim, I belong”

It is in the kingdom of the desert, which shelters within it the two greatest holy places of Islam, that the star of Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, at the zenith of his career, now feels in his place.

Triumphantly welcomed by the Saudi authorities, the 2022 Ballon d’Or trod for the first time on Thursday evening on the lawn of his new club Al-Ittihad, in Jeddah, to thunderous cheers and applause from the black stands. people.

More than 60,000 supporters, women and men, were present to applaud this rookie of choice, who not only has gold on his toes, but is also of Muslim faith. Preceded by a grandiose show, made up of breathtaking light effects and a pyrotechnic show, Karim Benzema’s resounding entry into the stadium ended in apotheosis, with his face projected in 3D mapping into the sky.

Beaming with happiness, the new star striker of Al-Ittihad, who is preparing to fly the colors of the Saudi club for three years, confided in what made him choose to end his career in style in Saudi Arabia, on the soil of the Holy Land. And it is an intimate motivation, more personal than purely (and basely) materialistic, which animates this fervent believer:

Why Saudi Arabia? I’m a Muslim, it’s a Muslim country and I want to live there. It’s different from Europe but I’ve been to Saudi Arabia before. I feel good. Above all, it’s a Muslim country, which is beautiful, and that’s where I want to be. It’s important to be in a Muslim country where I already feel that people love me, it will allow me to have a new life. I want to speak the Arabic language fluently, for me it is important. There are plenty of other things. I am lucky to be in Saudi Arabia, Mecca is near. I’m a believer so it’s important to me. I’m in my place, that’s where I’m going to feel the best. When I spoke with my family, they were all very happy, they will all come. I know our place is in Saudi Arabiae. »