Karim Benzema has hinted that he would like to retire at Real Madrid.
The French forward, who has previously been linked with a move to the Premier League, is now in his ninth season at Real.
He has been a key part of Madrid’s first team for the past few seasons and says he would love to retire at the Bernabeu if he continues to form part of their starting XI.
Speaking to beIN Sports Francia, Benzema said: “As a forward, when you’re at a club and you’re a first-team regular, you don’t need to look elsewhere — especially when you’re at a club like Real Madrid.
“It’s very hard because you know this club, the expectations. You start each season from scratch and you have to work, and above all stay at the top.”
Benzema’s partnership with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo — Madrid’s “BBC” — has been a cornerstone of their success, and he said a well-established team core had also been crucial.
“There are perhaps six or seven players who have been playing together for six or seven years,” he added.
“I think we’re in one of Real Madrid’s best periods ever, it’s as simple as that. The team is really very strong.”
He said he believed it was the strongest Madrid squad he had ever been part of “because there’s not just the first-team regulars, there are also the substitutes that make the difference.”
Meanwhile, Benzema said he thought it was “bizarre” that Neymar had opted to leave Madrid’s rivals Barcelona and join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record move.
“I’m not going to say I’m shocked, because he does what he wants,” he said. “I thought it was bizarre, but he undoubtedly has his reasons.”