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Real Madrid received a small fee for the summer departure of club legend



Photo by AFP via Getty Images

Karim Benzema made headlines earlier this summer by joining Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad. He was the second high-profile transfer to the oil-rich country this year, following in the footsteps of his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Benzema’s contract at Real Madrid was set to expire at the end of the month. He was close to renewing his contract at the Bernabeu before Al-Ittihad came up with a lucrative offer. He eventually joined the club on a free transfer.

However, according to Romain Molina, Saudi Arabia had paid a small transfer fee to Real Madrid for Benzema despite the fact that the player’s contract was going to expire this summer.

It appears the oil-rich nation convinced Real Madrid to not try hard for Benzema’s renewal by offering them a small compensation. However, to say the Spanish outfit did not try would perhaps be unfair, as coach Carlo Ancelotti was desperate to retain of the Frenchman’s services.

Benzema, after all, was a crucial link to Real Madrid’s transition plan in the attacking unit. The club wanted him to continue scoring goals in Europe until 2024 when Los Blancos had planned to splurge on either Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland.

However, with Benzema leaving the club this summer, Real Madrid now have to find a replacement in the market. They have roped in Joselu from Espanyol, but the former Stoke City ace is more of a replacement for the departing Mariano Diaz.

Real Madrid remain in contention to sign Mbappe this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain keen on offloading the Frenchman. But meeting PSG’s hefty demands for the attacker could prove to be tricky for Los Blancos, especially after they shelled out a huge sum for Jude Bellingham.

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Real Madrid News

Bellingham reacts after Real Madrid 1-0 Union Berlin: “Every day I’m very grateful to be here”



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Just over a month into the 2023/24 season, Jude Bellingham is already the toast of the town in Madrid.

Indeed, the 20-year-old midfield prodigy has made a sensational start to life as a Real Madrid player and the story continued last night on his UEFA Champions League debut for the club.

With the game against Union Berlin seemingly headed towards a draw, Bellingham found himself in the right place at the right time to turn home a late winner in stoppage time and send the Santiago Bernabeu into a state of frenzy.

The England international is making it a habit of scoring late winners for Real Madrid and is basking in all the admiration that is coming his way.

Following yet another match-winning performance, which led to him being named the MVP of the game, Bellingham spoke to the club’s media and said:

“It was a good win. It was a tough match, they were very well-organised at the back. It was frustrating at times, but we knew we had to keep insisting and try to find those gaps.

“We missed a lot of chances, but in the end, I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to score.”

On his dream start to life at Real Madrid with six goals in six games, Bellingham said: “I am very happy. Every day I am very grateful to be here. I come with a smile on my face, happy to learn from my teammates and to keep winning. Winning is the most important objective here.”

“I didn’t expect a start like this. I was confident in doing things well and, so far, it’s going very well. I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground and I’m calm. I hope it continues like this,” he later added.

The 20-year-old sensation also opened up on the goal he scored last night to win it for Los Blancos against Union Berlin, saying:

“I thought I had to follow the ball, just like against Getafe. They’re not aesthetic goals, but you have to be there to score them. Now it’s my turn to take advantage of those moves, but we’re a team and we help each other with the moves. That’s key.”

Talking about the atmosphere at the Santiago Bernabeu on a Champions League night, Bellingham could not hide his joy at experiencing it as he said:

“It’s the best. I thought La Liga was going really well until I heard the noise after the goal. I’m crazy about the support of the fans. You don’t know how big this club is until you are part of it. Hopefully, I’ll be here for many years to come.”

Signing off, he had a few words about Real Madrid’s start to the season, with six wins in six games across all competitions, saying:

“It’s the most important thing. At the beginning of the season, we would have signed it. We have to maintain this level and carry this rhythm into the next game. We all have to continue with this level of play because we have a lot of games ahead of us.”

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