February 08, (THEWILL) – Karim Benzema has reportedly stormed out of a training session at his Saudi Arabian club, Al Ittihad, after clashing with manager, Marcelo Gallardo. The incident is said to have occurred when Benzema allegedly refused to follow Gallardo’s instructions during the session.
The 36-year-old former Ballon d’Or winner signed a lucrative £86 million-per-year contract when he left Real Madrid to join Al Ittihad in a blockbuster move that surprised many. However, his high-profile transfer to Saudi Arabia has been plagued by controversy from the start. Benzema was late returning from a mid-season break in January, sparking rumours he was unhappy with life in the Middle East.
Although Benzema blamed his delayed return on being stranded due to a cyclone warning, speculation has continued that he is discontent at the club. In the just concluded January transfer window, European giants Chelsea and Manchester United were linked with shock moves for the veteran French striker.
According to reports by leading Spanish outlet Marca, Al Ittihad officials are “furious” over Benzema’s training ground walk-out. The club left him out of their squad for their recent match against Al Tai as an apparent punishment. The saga seems far from over.
Benzema enjoyed incredible success during his glorious 14-year spell at Real Madrid, scoring over 350 goals. However, his fairytale club career ending with Los Blancos taking one final lucrative payday in Saudi Arabia now threatens to turn sour very rapidly.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.