Former Real Madrid ace Karim Benzema has explained his reasons for joining Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad.
The France legend completed a mega-money move to Saudi Arabia, surprising much of the football world.
But in his first interview since the move, he explained why it stood out to him.
“I feel good, I’m happy to join a legendary club,” he said. “It’s going to be a new challenge, a new life, I can’t wait to start training.
“It’s a top club in Saudi Arabia, with a lot of passion from the fans and a lot of trophies. Why Saudi Arabia? I’m a Muslim, it’s a Muslim country and I want to live there.
“There is Cristiano Ronaldo, a friend, it’s good to find him again and it also shows that Saudi Arabia is starting to rise more and more at the world level. That’s what is important”, continues the Frenchman.
“It’s different from Europe but I’ve been to Saudi Arabia before, I feel good. It’s a Muslim country, which is beautiful, and that’s where I want to be.
“It is important to be in a Muslim country where I already feel that people love me, it will allow me to have a new life. I want to speak the Arabic language fluently, for me it is important.
“There are lots of other things. I’m lucky to be in Saudi Arabia, Mecca is close, I’m a believer so it’s important for me. I’m in my place, that’s where I’m going to feel the best. When I spoke with my family, they were all very happy. I know that our place is in Saudi Arabia.”