Karim Benzema has revealed his intention is to retire as Real Madrid, with ‘no other option’ for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner.
- The French striker won a Ballon d’Or
- Intends to stay at Santiago Bernabeu
- I learned a lot from the Portuguese icon
WHAT HAPPENED? The 34-year-old France international has become the oldest recipient of a prestigious Ballon d’Or since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956 after scoring 44 goals for the current holders of the La Liga and Champions League titles in 2021- 22. He shows no signs of slowing down and, having already seen a return to his roots at Lyon speculated before one day came to hang up his boots, has said he wants to spend the rest of his career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
WHAT THEY SAID: Asked about his future plans after winning the Ballon d’Or at a glitzy ceremony in Paris, Benzema said Onda Cero: “I will retire at Real Madrid, there is no other option.”
THE BIGGEST PICTURE: Benzema’s current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2023 but new terms are being considered. That’s because he remains a talismanic figure for Real, with captaincy taken on after he was previously tasked with filling Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots. He said he raised his game once the legendary Portuguese striker left Spanish football in 2018: “It was an honor to play with him, he’s a beast. On the day he left, the ambition to be no longer entered my head.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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DID YOU KNOW? Benzema was top scorer in La Liga 21/22 (27) and Champions League 21/22 (15), scoring 44 goals across the season. He is the third Real Madrid player to reach this total in a single campaign after Puskas (2) and Ronaldo (7).
WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR BENZEMA? Injury problems have been endured this season, but Benzema was back among the goals in a Clasico win over Barcelona last time out and is now down to five efforts in a campaign that will also see him chasing after glory. the World Cup with France in Qatar.