Karim Benzema ‘returns to Real Madrid’ after calling out Al Ittihad teammates

arim Benzema has returned to Real Madrid amid doubts over his long-term future in Saudi Arabia.

Benzema, 36, left Madrid last summer after 14 years at the Bernabeu to move to the Saudi Pro League on a free transfer.

He joined Al Ittihad on a three-year deal worth a reported £172m per season.

But things haven’t gone to plan for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner in his first season in Saudi Arabia.

He has managed only 13 goals in 29 games in all competitions, a disappointing return considering his huge salary.

Benzema was linked with a return to Madrid in January, amid a reported falling out with the management Al Ittihad.

Reports claimed the player was involved in an ‘angry altercation’ with head coach Marcelo Gallardo over his role at the club.

It was reported that he had also ‘stormed’ out of training after refusing to follow his manager’s orders, leading to him being made to train away from the squad for a period.

Benzema has struggled to produce his best form since joining back up with the squad and earlier this month he appeared to blame his Al Ittihad teammates for his underwhelming performances.

When asked why he is not the same player at Real Madrid, Benzema said: “It’s because it’s not the same game.

“It’s not the same players, I need to be helped. I need help on the pitch. I can’t win the game alone. I need a lot of things.”

Benzema has now returned to Real Madrid, albeit only on a temporary basis.

He is being treated by his former club for muscular problems, which have ruled him out of Al Ittihad’s last two matches.

“Karim Benzema is undergoing further examinations in Real Madrid’s clinic with his former doctor in Spain, who supervised his care in previous years,” Al Ittihad confirmed in a statement.

“The consultations were arranged between Ittihad’s medical teams and Real Madrid regarding Benzema’s injuries, which caused him to miss key matches this season.

“Benzema has already left for Spain and is expected to return next week.”

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