Perplexing News: Kante Officially Joins Al Ittihad, Uniting with Compatriot Benzema in English Competition
In a statement that left fans perplexed and bursting with excitement, French World Cup-winning midfielder N’Golo Kante has shockingly joined Saudi Arabian champions Al Ittihad, according to the club’s Twitter announcement. The club’s chairman, Anmar al-Hailee, tweeted a warm welcome to Kante, referring to him as the team’s new tiger. This unexpected move sees Kante become the latest European star to venture into the desert kingdom, known for its lucrative investments in elite sports.
Renowned for his dynamic and industrious style of play, the 32-year-old Kante enjoyed success on both the international and club stage. He played a pivotal role in France’s triumphant World Cup campaign in 2018. Additionally, Kante’s club career has been nothing short of dazzling, with major achievements such as winning the prestigious UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup with Chelsea, as well as clinching consecutive Premier League titles with both Leicester City and Chelsea.
Adding to the surprise, Kante’s contract with Chelsea was set to expire imminently, but he has now committed to a three-year deal with Al Ittihad, located in Jeddah. However, no details regarding his salary have been disclosed. The statement from the club emphasized that Kante’s signing is deemed one of the most high-profile and impactful signings in the club’s history, clearly highlighting their ambition to become a preferred destination for top-class players within the Saudi Professional League.
Notably, Kante will continue to wear the number seven shirt, a familiar symbol from his time at Chelsea. Joining him at Al Ittihad is another French compatriot, Karim Benzema, the current Ballon d’Or holder. Benzema recently made the move after a remarkable 14-season spell with Real Madrid, where he accumulated an impressive collection of trophies including five Champions League titles, four La Liga titles, and three Copa del Rey victories.
The excitement surrounding this unexpected transfer was palpable, as both players expressed their joy in separate videos posted by the club. Benzema praised Kante as the best box-to-box player in the world and expressed his delight at reuniting with him in the best team in Saudi Arabia. Kante reciprocated the excitement, stating he was very thrilled to play for the Tigers, Al Ittihad’s nickname. It’s worth noting that the Saudi league has already secured the services of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr earlier this year.
Although the Saudi courted Argentine legend Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Messi ultimately declined the offer and will instead join Inter Miami in the United States. Despite international criticism over its human rights record, Saudi Arabia has quickly established itself as a prominent player in the world of sports, fueled by its oil wealth. The country’s ambition to host the World Cup aims to boost its global profile and diversify its economy, attracting tourists and investors.
In addition to football, Saudi Arabia has also secured the rights to host several major sporting events, including the men’s Asian Cup football, the Asian Games, and even the Asian Winter Games in 2029. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s sovereign wealth vehicle, holds a significant stake in Premier League club Newcastle United. This investment has raised eyebrows within the golf industry as well, as the PIF backs LIV Golf, which nearly caused a rupture in the sport with its clash against the PGA Tour. However, a surprising merger between the two tours has recently settled the legal battle, only one year after LIV Golf attracted several PGA stars with lucrative offers.
This unexpected move by Kante to Al Ittihad has left fans bewildered and eagerly anticipating the upcoming football season in Saudi Arabia. The burst of activity and high-profile signings from the desert kingdom has undoubtedly injected excitement into the world of football.