Karim Benzema has finalised his transfer to Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia.
The France striker has agreed to terms with the Saudi champions until 2026, ending his 14-year spell at Real Madrid.
The news broke on Tuesday evening, just hours after Benzema’s farewell press conference at Real Madrid.
“I’ll never forget Real Madrid because it’s impossible,” he said.
“It’s difficult to talk. There are so many emotions. I wanted to thank Real Madrid and my teammates. It’s been a good journey in my life.
“I was lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream thanks to the president, who a long time ago, when I was just 21 years old, went to my house, with my parents.
“When I saw you I said, ‘he’s the man who brought Zizou and Ronaldo and now he wants me in his team’. Thank you very much for that.
“I’ll never forget Real Madrid because it is impossible. It’s the best club in the world and in history, that’s as good as it gets. It’s time for me to leave today and to have another story, but the most important thing for me is what I’ve won here.
“It’s a little bit of a sad day, because I’m leaving this club and that pains me. My dream was in my head, I signed for Madrid and I wanted to finish at Madrid, but life sometimes gives you another opportunity and I’ve taken it with all my family.”
Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in 2009 and won four LaLiga titles and five Champions League trophies.
But the Ballon d’Or winner will face a fresh challenge in the Middle East, where he will join former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Al Nassr.
Last month, Al Ittihad won the Saudi Pro League over Al Nassr.