We examine the history of Al Ittihad along with the latest updates regarding their pursuit of Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema and the club’s owner and players
Thanks to his achievements at the club, former Spurs manager Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to stay at Al Ittihad for the 2023–24 season, and they are determined to compete evenly against Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr in the years to come. With this goal in mind, the Saudi Arabian champions have offered Benzema a contract offer worth $100 Million wage.
Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad FC players list, owner, manager, titles won, history
After Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in January, Saudi Pro League clubs have said they intend to lure additional top-tier athletes to the region. Karim Benzema, the captain of Real Madrid, is the most recent player to be mentioned in connection with a move to Saudi Arabia, with the current Saudi champions Al Ittihad leading the race to recruit the Frenchman. The seasoned striker may be drawn to a new challenge despite Los Blancos’ offer of a one-year extension.
Karim Benzema will join Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad when his Real Madrid contract expires this month, sources have told ESPN.
Benzema was offered a two-year contract worth €400 million to move to Saudi Arabia in January. pic.twitter.com/dXwoNByCI0
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 1, 2023
Know about Al Ittihad origin, history, silverwares, & achievements
With their 2023 Saudi Pro League title win ahead of Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, the reigning Saudi champions have become the second-most successful team with nine league titles total. By boasting 18 league championships and four AFC Champions League medals, Al-Hilal are without a doubt the dominant force in Saudi Arabian football but, Al Ittihad plan to overtake them and become new superpower of Saudi Arabian football.
Al Ittihad are one of the most famous clubs based in Jeddah, which is a city on the Red Sea coast, and represents the opposite side of Saudi Arabia, 950 kilometers across the country from Al-Hilal / Al-Nassr in the capital Riyadh. As one of just four clubs to successfully defend their title in the league, Al Ittihad won two AFC Champions League championships in 2004 and 2005.
Al Ittihad was established in 1927, making it the country of Saudi Arabia’s longest-running sports organization. With the exception of Al Hilal, they are the only club in the nation to have won nine league championships. They are also tied for second place all-time with Al Nassr.
That pattern of following Al Hilal in historic lists continues in the King Cup and the Saudi Crown Prince Cup, with nine compared to 13 and eight to 13 and Al Ittihad have won two AFC Champions League titles, in 2004 and 2005, as one of just four clubs to defend their title in the competition.
Ex Premier League names in the team including Wilfried Bony, Sulley Muntari and Titi Camara have enjoyed spells in Jeddah following a brief stints for 1994 World Cup duo Roberto Donadoni and Bebeto.
|Al-Ittihad Saudi Arabian Club
|Anmar Al Haily
|Nuno Espírito Santo
|Pro League, 1st of 16 (champions)
What contract will be offered to Benzema by Al Ittihad?
At the end of June, Benzema’s contract at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu expires and although a 12-month extension seemed likely, Al Ittihad’s interest has altered the situation. Real Madrid will only extend Benzema’s contract for a further year, in accordance with their policy on players 30 years of age and older, but Al Ittihad will do so for two years.
According to reports from the UK and Spain, Al Ittihad is reportedly interested in making Benzema their star summer acquisition as Santo works to keep his squad ahead of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal. Diario AS claimed that Al Ittihad is interested in signing Benzema to a two-year contract with an annual wage package of £85 Million ($107 Million). If they are unable to sign Messi, Al-Hilal will make a comparable offer for Benzema to compete against Al Ittihad.