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Karim Benzema faces turmoil at Al Ittihad as training absence and desire to return to Europe surface

Posted : 14 January 2024

Al Ittihad, the Saudi team led by Karim Benzema, is facing turmoil as reports emerge that the French striker failed to join the team's training camp in Saudi Arabia, leading to his exclusion from the upcoming camp in Dubai.


According to sources close to Benzema, he is stranded in Mauritius due to a cyclone with disrupted transportation. However, Saudi Arabia contends that he was expected to report on Friday and failed to arrive on time.


Tensions between Benzema and the team have been escalating, with reports suggesting that he missed three training sessions at the end of the year, leading up to the Christmas break. Al Ittihad's disappointing performance, currently in seventh place and a recent 5-2 defeat to Al Nassr, adds to the strained relationship.


Amid the controversy, Italian journalist Nicolo Shira disclosed that Benzema is keen on leaving Saudi Arabia and returning to European football. The timeline for this potential move remains unclear, raising questions about whether it could happen in the current transfer window or if it must wait until the summer.


The Saudi league is set to resume in approximately three weeks, with Al Ittihad facing a significant 25-point gap to leaders Al Hilal. Despite his lucrative contract, Benzema has struggled to meet expectations, scoring 12 goals in 20 appearances across all competitions.



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