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Emotional tribute and farewell event for Benzema

NEWS STORY. 06/06/2023. Mireia Jiménez. Photographer: Antonio Villalba

"When you arrived you were almost a child and today you leave as one of our greatest legends. Your legend will last forever as a beautiful love story between Benzema and Real Madrid", said president Florentino Pérez, who presented him with the brilliant and gold insignia.

Real Madrid City hosted the farewell event for Karim Benzema, a club legend who says goodbye after winning 25 trophies (a record in our history), having played 648 games and scored 354 goals. The ceremony kicked off with an emotional video with images of the captain and continued with a few words from Florentino Pérez. The president, who awarded Benzema with Real Madrid's brilliant gold insignia, said: "Today is a very difficult day for me. It's a day that brings back memories and the emotions of the last 14 years and it's also a day of sentiment and emotions for all madridistas. A period of enormous anticipation began 14 years ago for all madridistas, one of the most impressive in our 121 years of history".

"Dear Karim, you arrived at Real Madrid 14 years ago and you have become one of the best players of all time. To everyone who has felt and feels this sadness at your departure from Real Madrid, I would like to say that this is also the time to remember the great fortune we've had enjoying your football throughout all these years. We have seen you do incredible things wearing our crest and our jersey all over the world. This is something that no madridista will ever forget".

A legendary record
"Everything you have accomplished at the club of your life and, most importantly, how you have achieved it, earning the respect and admiration of all of us. Whenever you look back on your career with us, you will always be surrounded by these memories and these 25 trophies. Nobody has won more trophies than you at Real Madrid".

Video.Thank you, Benzema

"When you arrived you were almost a child and today you leave as one of our greatest legends and one of the greatest players of all time. Your legacy will last forever as a beautiful love story between Benzema and Real Madrid. I'm sure that wherever you are, you will be one of our greatest ambassadors and will continue to represent the values of Real Madrid. Because this is and always will be your home".

His role as captain in La Decimocuarta
You led this team and you were the finest example of our greatest identifying feature. When it seemed impossible, when nobody believed in us, you were there with your team-mates to show once again that Real Madrid never gives up, and that with this crest we fight until the last second in every game. No madridista or football fan will ever forget those impossible comebacks last year".

Benzema: "I'll never forget Real Madrid because it's impossible"
"It's difficult to talk. There are so many emotions. I wanted to thank Real Madrid and my team-mates. It's been a good journey in my life. I was lucky enough to fulfil my childhood dream thanks to the presi, who a long time ago, when I was just 21 years old, went to my house, with my parents. When I saw you I said, he's the man who brought Zizou and Ronaldo and now he wants me in his team. Thank you very much for that".
"I'll never forget Real Madrid because it is impossible. It's the best club in the world and in history, that's as good as it gets. It's time for me to leave today and to have another story, but the most important thing for me is what I've won here. Like I said, the first day I came here, I'm going to say it again: 1,2,3, Hala Madrid. It's a little bit of a sad day, because I'm leaving this club and that pains me. My dream was in my head, I signed for Madrid and I wanted to finish at Madrid, but life sometimes gives you another opportunity and I've taken it with all my family".
Acknowledgement of Ancelotti
"I also wanted to thank the coach, he has always placed a lot of trust in me. I'll never forget that. He's a top coach and I've learned a lot with you. Thank you very much for everything".
Thankful to the fans
"Thanks to the fans, who push us to play well, to be strong, to have the mentality and to be where I am today. I'll always go to see Madrid matches. Thanks to everyone".

Brilliant gold insignia
Members of the board of directors, coach Carlo Ancelotti, teammates such as Modrić, Courtois, Nacho and Lucas Vázquez and other club legends such as Roberto Carlos, Arbeloa and Raúl were also present at the ceremony. President Florentino Pérez handed Benzema the Real Madrid brilliant gold insignia in a ceremony that was rounded off with a group photo with the 25 trophies that the Frenchman has won during his time at the club.