'Legendary' Benzema scores in his final game for Madrid.

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 6/5/2023 5:50:35 AM

The legendary Karim Benzema, who is leaving Real Madrid, scored from the spot to earn his team a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday in La Liga as he bid his fans farewell at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Elsewhere After a thrilling season finale, Real Valladolid was relegated after a 0-0 draw with Getafe, while five other teams near the bottom were able to exhale in relief.

Celta Vigo defeated defending champions Barcelona 2-1, and Gabri Veiga's two goals secured the Galician team's place in the top division for the upcoming campaign.

Karim Benzema

After 14 years at the club, Benzema announced earlier in the day that he would be leaving this summer. He received a standing ovation as he was replaced after rolling his penalty down the middle to tie the game.

Real Madrid's victory over Atletico Madrid in second place was assured by the draw after Diego Simeone's team tied 2-2 at Villarreal on the final day.

"He told me he was going when I spoke with him this morning. Carlo Ancelotti, coach of Real Madrid, said, "He's made the decision, and I told him I respect it completely.


Ancelotti claimed that Benzema's decision was unexpected after the Italian said on Saturday that he thought the forward would stay.

"I have coached one of the best in the world, not a forward, a complete footballer," the coach continued.

"A very amiable, modest, and serious individual. Although we cannot support his decision, we must respect it. He has made history and left an imprint at this club.

Athletic were the superior team, and the only thing keeping his team level at halftime was an incredible penalty save by Thibaut Courtois to stop Mikel Vesga.

Early in the second half, Oihan Sancet gave the visitors the lead with a goal, but Benzema scored from the penalty spot after a soft penalty was awarded for a foul on Eder Militao.

The 35-year-old scored his 354th goal in as many games in the Spanish capital following his 2009 transfer from Lyon.

Benzema, who has won four times in La Liga and five times in the Champions League, appears destined to play in Saudi Arabia, where former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has relocated.

After being racially taunted by Valencia fans, Vinicius Junior made his first appearance for Real Madrid, sparking outrage and support from all over the world.

Benzema netted Real Madrid's equaliser on 72 minutes

Madrid's season was disappointing; despite winning the Copa del Rey, they were soundly defeated by Manchester City in the Champions League semifinals, and they ended up finishing 10 points behind champions Barcelona, their most vehement rivals.

Xavi Hernandez's team was defeated at Balaidos thanks to goals from Veiga in the first half and the second from a failed cross that flew in.

The champions were able to get a goal back through Ansu Fati, but they were unable to tie the game.

Missing the mark

Valladolid was relegated because they were unable to defeat Getafe.

Goalkeeper Jordi Masip of Valladolid said, "There's not much of an explanation; the team tried, we tried to make it difficult for Getafe but we didn't do it."

I'm at a loss for words; it's a terrible shame for the entire team, all the supporters, and the entire city. There was no other way; we had to score.

Espanyol's late goal against Almeria would have been their last hope, but the Andalusians held on for a 3-3 draw to advance by one point to 17th place.

Another team that was in danger on the day was Valencia, but they managed to draw 1-1 at Real Betis, who also bid their captain Joaquin Sanchez farewell.

With his 622nd top-flight appearance, the 41-year-old, who announced his retirement, tied the record first set by goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta.

When Joaquin was replaced, he spoke to Movistar in tears and kissed the Benito Villamarin field. "It's a special day, a beautiful day, when I'm with my people, my family, the club that gave me everyone," he said.

"Thanks to Real Betis, I am who I am."

By defeating Girona 2-1, Osasuna moved ahead of Athletic and earned a spot in the UEFA Europa Conference League for the following season.

The Copa del Rey runners-up were able to celebrate their successful campaign with fans at El Sadar thanks to a brace from Ante Budimir.

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