‘Reality is not the internet’, Benzema says of lucrative Saudi move

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema poses after receiving the MARCA Leyenda award in Madrid on 1 June 2023AFP

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema insisted on Thursday that “reality is not the internet” in response to rumours of a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia.

“Why am I going to talk about the future if I am in Madrid?” asked the Frenchman.

“The thing that is talking is the internet and reality is not the internet.”

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) semi-final second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on 5 April, 2023

Benzema was responding to claims he might be en route to a Saudi club, although he still has a year left on his contract with the Spanish giants.

According to Spanish press reports, Benzema could net €200 million ($215m) in a two-year deal in the Gulf kingdom.

“For now I’m here,” he said. “Tomorrow I go training, I enjoy every day and on Sunday I have a game.

“I’m very proud of my work and I enjoy every training session, every game and the most important thing is to enjoy.

“When I go to Valdebebas it’s not work for me because the day it’s work I won’t want to do it anymore.

“I enjoy football like children do and in my head I’m still a child,” said Benzema, who has won 25 titles in his time at Real Madrid.

Benzema, speaking at an award ceremony by Marca newspaper, explained that his approach to the game meant he tried to be a more versatile striker.

Karim Benzema of Real Madrid takes a shot on goal against Juventus during their friendly soccer match at the Rose Bowl on 30 Jul, 2022 in Pasadena, California

“I know how to score goals, but what I want in football because I like football is what I can do on the field: movement, assists – I try to do things that are not seen in other strikers.”

Benzema said retired Brazilian player Ronaldo was his role model, explaining that “not only was he a goal scorer, but he could shimmy, make assists”.

And the French striker was also humble when collecting his Marca award, saying that “when a player receives a trophy it is always with the whole team because without my teammates I can’t reach the level”.

“I have the talent, but you need the help of others, we always need the help of the whole team.”