Karim Benzema photo

After 14 years with Real Madrid, Karim Benzema will depart the team in a shocking move.

When the current campaign is over, the Ballon d'Or-winning striker, who transferred from Lyon to the Spanish powerhouse in 2009, will leave on an unrestricted move.

Benzema, 35, helped Madrid win four La Liga championships and five Champions Leagues.

Madrid said that Benzema "has been a model of conduct and competence and has embodied the fundamental principles of our club." He is entitled to choose his own future plans.

The 25 major championships the France international collected with Real Madrid set a club record.

The current Ballon d'Or winner, Benzema, led Real Madrid to the Champions League championship last year with 15 goals in the tournament.

He also won three Copa del Rey championships and five Club World Cups.

Benzema has made 647 appearances for Madrid and has scored 353 goals, which places him second all-time behind only Cristiano Ronaldo.

On Sunday against Athletic Bilbao, their penultimate game of the 2022–23 La Liga season, he will play his last game for Real Madrid.

The club went on to say that "Madridistas and all fans throughout the world have taken pleasure in his spectacular and distinctive football, which has rendered him one among the great luminaries of our club and one of the grand icons of world football."

"Real Madrid is and will always remain his home, and we wish him and all of his family nothing but the best in the forthcoming stage of their lives."

Benzema reached that stage after failing to renew his contract and said he wanted to go back home and retire there. However, he did not disclose the club he will retire with after playing the next two seasons.

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