French striker, Karim Benzema, has left Real Madrid.
A club statement confirmed the player and the club’s decision to part ways after 14 years.
The 35-year-old forward agreed a deal to end his glittering era at the club, the Spanish side said on Sunday.
“Real Madrid and our captain Karim Benzema have agreed to put an end to his brilliant and unforgettable era as a player at our club.
“Madrid wants to show their gratitude and all their love to someone who is one of our greatest legends,” the club statement read.
The announcement comes after Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, had on Saturday said there was “no doubt” about Benzema’s future at Madrid, noting the forward had one more year left on his contract.
Benzema himself had said “Not everything you read on the internet is reality” after reports emerged during the week about his potential departure to Saudi Arabia.
The French forward joined Madrid in 2009 from Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Benzema established himself as a key player alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the vaunted “BBC” attacking trident, before developing into the team’s leader when the Portuguese striker left in 2018.
Benzema has lifted 24 trophies with Madrid, including five Champions Leagues, four La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey and is the current holder of the Ballon d’Or for the world’s best player.
He is Real Madrid’s second top scorer of all time, with 353 goals for Madrid, behind only Ronaldo on 450.
Benzema’s final appearance for the club would be on Sunday when Madrid host Athletic Bilbao in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid had confirmed on Saturday that Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz are all leaving this summer too, leaving plenty of space for new acquisitions in attack.
Ancelotti avoided talking on Saturday about Madrid’s alleged interest in England and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
“I’m not going to talk about the future of the squad that is in place. Kane is a great player, he is a Tottenham player, we have to respect the player and Tottenham,” he said.