Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema has called Saudi Arabia his second home, which begs the question, where does he call home.
Benzema moved to Al Ittihad in July, and after just five months in Saudi Arabia has been enthusiastic about his life in the Middle East-
“I am very happy to be in Saudi Arabia among these great people who love sports. I came to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia not only to play football, but for a huge, gigantic sports project,” he explained at the Misk Global Forum, as carried by Diario AS.
“At first I was surprised by this great affection and this great welcome when I arrived. Just as with the great reception from the Al Ittihad fans. They are not only affectionate, but passionate, they give us enthusiasm and we do everything possible to make them happy. Saudi Arabia is my second country and the people here are great, they love football and have a lot of passion.”
The presumption would be that Lyon, where he was born, raised and took his first steps in football is his home, but Benzema does not have a simple relationship with France, or at least the French national team of late. After accusations of being involved in an underage prostitute ring, blackmailing his teammate Mathieu Valbuena, being exiled from the national team for eight years, and most recently a French government minister alleging that he had links to terrorist groups, there have been significant turbulence for Benzema in his native country.
Equally, Benzema lived in Madrid as someone who was employed there, endearing himself to Real Madrid fans, for the past 14 years. It would be a surprise if after five months in Saudi Arabia had won more affection in his heart than Madrid or Lyon. At any rate, he seems happy.