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Karim Benzema scores an absolute beauty on his Al Ittihad debut, he has arrived

Karim Benzema scores an absolute beauty on his Al Ittihad debut, he has arrived

Karim Benzema recorded a goal and an assist on his Al Ittihad debut against ES Tunis.

Karim Benzema had a debut to remember on Thursday night, when he scored a screamer for Saudi side Al Ittihad in their Arab Club Champions Cup victory against Espérance Sportive de Tunis.

The 35-year-old Ballon d'Or winner, who recently signed a three-year deal at Al Ittihad worth a reported £172 million a year, is one of many high-profile players to have joined the Saudi Pro League this summer.

Roberto Firmino and Edouard Mendy have penned contracts with Al Ahli, while Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Kalidou Koulibaly play under former Benfica coach Jorge Jesus at Al Hilal.

Benzema, meanwhile, will play alongside France teammate N'Golo Kante at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah; all while becoming the second-highest paid player in world football.

If you break down that astronomical sum, the Frenchman will pocket £14.34 million per month; a figure that equates to £19,640-an-hour, £327.34 per minute and £5.46 every second.

A month after penning the mammoth deal, Benzema proved his worth by recording a goal and an assist on his debut against Espérance Sportive de Tunis, who took a surprise lead in the 28th minute.

But nine minutes later, Abderrazak Hamdallah equalised with a close range header after some great work from Benzema down the left.

Then, ten minutes into the second-half, the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner drifted out to the left wing before cutting inside and curling a shot past ES Tunis goalkeeper Amanallah Memmich.

It was a wonderful effort from the experienced forward, who is still regarded as one of the best forwards in world football.

Al Ittihad even joked that Benzema pressed the R1 button while holding down shoot to release his finesse shot. Here's how the rest of social media reacted to his performance.

One fan said: "Karim Benzema cooking in his debut game for Al Ittihad shouldn’t surprise you one bit. The guy needed rest to recover, he got his rest," while another wrote: "That Benzema assist is mad."

A third commented: "If you play football you'd know how hard it is to nail that fake shot he did with his weak foot and have the ball so well-manipulated before shooting while sending the two defenders away. Karim Benzema is another level of football."

A fourth added: "Karim Benzema doing Karim Benzema things on his Al-Ittihad debut."

Image credit: YouTube/Alsido Football
Image credit: YouTube/Alsido Football

Last month, Benzema opened up about his move to Al-Ittihad during a fascinating sit-down interview with the club's media channels.

“It’s one of the top clubs in Saudi Arabia. It’s a club that sees a lot of passion from its fan and has many trophies," he said.

“The stadium is exceptional, and as I said and will repeat; there’s so much passion – a good team always needs fans. The fans are very important, and with that passion, it gives us the motivation to be best on the field.”

He added: “I hope for my new club, what I’ll be able to bring is my football and most importantly to be able to win titles. It’s a new chapter for me and I would like to further advance the club.

“It’s a club with a lot of passion. I would like the fans to find themselves in me. I would like to leave a lasting legacy, because I love football. I always have this competitiveness to push my limits and go even higher.

"That’s why I’m going to be well prepared to give them and show them my talent.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Karim Benzema, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pro League, Fan Reactions