Karim Benzema: When you're in Mecca you're at peace

Karim Benzema: When you're in Mecca you're at peace

| sport

Karim Benzema left Real Madrid last summer and headed to Saudi Arabia after deciding not to renew his contract with the club. He did so to join Al-Ittihad, for whom he has scored three goals in seven games.

The French striker, who is a Muslim, explains that one of the reasons he decided to move was to be able to be in Mecca. "As a Muslim, when you are in Mecca you feel at peace... it is an exceptional place. I am at peace here," he said in an interview with the official media of the Saudi league.

Benzema says his integration into the country has been exceptional. "It's a Muslim country, they welcomed me with open arms and I felt loved straight away," said the former Real Madrid player, who explained that he was also seduced by being able to play in a developing league: "When the football project started in Saudi Arabia, it seemed huge in every aspect and I wanted to be part of it to help the advancement of football in this country.

The former Real Madrid player says he has been surprised by the standard of the championship, which has led to many top players leaving Europe and opting for the Saudi league. "There is a lot of passion here and I am happy with the level of play. I am really surprised by the level in Saudi Arabia because in Europe you didn't see many games in this league. Now you do."

Finally, he mentioned Real Madrid: "I'm very happy and proud of everything I've done and won with Real Madrid. But I think I needed an important change in my life after everything I had already won".

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