Karim Benzema in the sights of the Saudi press for his poor performances

With his Al-Ittihad club team, the French striker crowned Golden Ball in 2022, is in an anonymous sixth place in the Saudi championship, 22 points behind the leader club Al-Hilal.



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Karim Benzema in action during a match, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, December 15, 2023. (JOSE BRETON / NURPHOTO)

He was welcomed with great fanfare, like a rock star, by his new club Al-Ittihad, upon his arrival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Six months later, the honeymoon seems far away and Karim Benzema has not worked a miracle in the Saudi Pro League.

He has 9 goals, 4 assists, in 14 games, which is not enough, to the taste of observers and even his coach, the Argentinian Marcelo Gallardo. As proof, the latter replaced him at the end of the match, Saturday December 23 even though he was not suffering from any injury. A choice that speaks volumes.

“He doesn’t make any effort.”

Karim Benzema has become the target of local journalists and in particular of presenter Waleed Al-Farraj, a figure in Saudi football who points out the lack of involvement of the Frenchman. The defeat on Saturday against the penultimate in the championship, the Al-Raed Saudi Football Club, was the last straw: “He doesn’t make any effort!”, decided the presenter, during his show. Before insisting: “The gap with the public is growing day by day, it’s as if he’s telling them, I’m having fun with you. He’s uncomfortable”concludes Waleed Al-Farraj.

Karim Benzema is under contract until 2026, not sure if he will finish at this rate.

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