Real Madrid icons Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo face off for the first time since 2008

What Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema achieved together at Real Madrid cannot be overemphasized. Although Benzema spent most of his time in the Spanish capital in Ronaldo’s shadow, the Frenchman would eventually shine when Ronaldo left Los Blancos for Juventus in the summer of 2018 after nine years at the club.

Signed together in the summer of 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema faced off for the first time in 14 years after their Saudi clubs clashed in the Saudi Pro League. Ronaldo, who now plays for Al-Nassr, went head-to-head with Karim Benzema, who gets his paycheck from cross-town rivals Al-Ittihad.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema face each other again after 14 years

When a pair spends almost a decade playing alongside each other at Real Madrid, the word ‘rivalry’ doesn’t really apply to them, which is the story of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, who played alongside each other from the summer of 2009 to 2018. However, their paths crossed on Tuesday at the Prince Abdullah al-Faisal Stadium in Jeddah in the Saudi Pro League when Al-Ittihad took on Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr.

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Source: Managing Madrid

Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia in January also paved the way for Karim Benzema to leave Los Blancos and move to the Middle East himself, where he joined Al-Ittihad on the back of a stellar year that saw him lift the Ballon d’Or trophy for the first time in his career.

Al-Ittihad, who had been winless in their last three games, hosted Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, who have been in top shape after a disappointing start to the season. This was the first time Ronaldo and Benzema would be playing against each other for different clubs since 2008 when Manchester United played Lyon in the UCL.

Al-Nassr completed a 5-2 rout over Al-Ittihad, with Ronaldo scoring a brace and getting the better of his old friend. Both of his goals came from the spot, as Sadio Mane also added a brace for the away side after Talisca’s goal in the 38th minute.

With Benzema getting a goal drought in the match, it was Abderrazak Hamdallah who scored a brace for the home side, as he also continued his quest to knock Cristiano Ronaldo off the goalscorer ranking.

Source: Reddit

How many years did Ronaldo and Benzema play together?

Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in the summer of 2009, with the pair going on to spend nine years together at the club, winning numerous trophies in the process.

During their time at Real Madrid, they played under different legendary managers, including Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, and Zinedine Zidane, the latter of whom won the Champions League thrice.

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Source: Barca Blaugranes

Altogether, they won four UCL together, with Benzema going on to win his fifth in 2022 with Real Madrid, which helped deliver his first Ballon d’Or triumph in his stellar career in Europe.

Ronaldo shocked the world when he joined Al-Nassr back in January, but his move to the Middle East paved the way for Benzema and other players to move to the region as well, especially Saudi Arabia.

Benzema later revealed his reasons for joining Al-Ittihad, claiming he would feel more comfortable in a country that practiced the same religion as him.

Can Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema ever play together again?


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