Karim Benzema ended his 14-season career with Real Madrid on Sunday, scoring a penalty kick in his final game before being substituted and receiving a standing ovation from fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid had announced earlier on Sunday that the French striker would not return next season. The last round of the Spanish league also saw Vinícius Júnior’s return to action for the first time since he was racially abused in a league match against Valencia two weeks ago, as well as Valladolid’s relegation. Benzema’s farewell came amid reports he will play in Saudi Arabia next season.
As per the analysis by Indian Express, Karim Benzema bid farewell to Real Madrid on Sunday after spending 14 seasons with the Spanish football powerhouse. The French striker was substituted after scoring the 72nd-minute equalizer in Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao. Benzema received a standing ovation from fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where he converted his penalty kick in his final match.
Madrid had announced earlier on Sunday that Benzema would not return next season. The 33-year-old striker has been a key player for the club, scoring 279 goals in 559 appearances. Benzema’s departure comes amid reports that he will play in Saudi Arabia next season.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised Benzema’s contribution to the club, saying, “He’s been a legendary, unforgettable figure, and he’ll remain forever in the memory of this club.” After the match, Madrid players threw Benzema up in the air a few times, as they did for the other players not returning next season — Marco Asensio, Eden Hazard, and Mariano Diaz.
The result allowed Madrid to finish in second place ahead of Atletico Madrid, which drew 2-2 at Villarreal after conceding a stoppage-time equalizer. Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said of Benzema, “It was a pleasure to play with him. He is an excellent player, a legend. It’s a pity that he is leaving, but we understand that he has the right to choose his destiny.”
The last round of the Spanish league also saw Vinicius Junior’s return to action for the first time since he was racially abused in a league match against Valencia two weeks ago. The Brazilian forward hadn’t played in the last two Madrid games following the latest incident of racist insults targeted at him in Valencia on May 21, prompting a widespread reaction from Spanish authorities and the soccer world. The club had said he was sidelined with a minor knee problem. Vinicius wasn’t able to score, having a 79th-minute goal disallowed for offside.
Valladolid’s relegation was also confirmed on the final day of the Spanish league. The team lost 1-0 at Real Sociedad and finished in 19th place, four points from safety.
To summarize, Karim Benzema’s departure from Real Madrid marks the end of an era for the club. The French striker has been a key player for Madrid for 14 seasons and has contributed significantly to the club’s success over the years. Benzema’s farewell match saw him score a crucial goal and receive a standing ovation from fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid will undoubtedly miss his presence on the field, but they will forever remember his contribution to the club’s legacy.