Karim Benzema
Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal against Barcelona at Camp Nou AFP / Pau BARRENA

The football world is abuzz with noise emanating from Saudi Arabia in the past week, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema dominating the headlines.

Will Ronaldo leave Al-Nassr?

Just half a year since the Portuguese star made the shock move to Saudi Arabia in January, there are already rumours stating that he is looking for a way back to Europe. It may be remembered that his contract with Premier League side Manchester United was terminated on mutual consent before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and he joined the Saudi Pro League side a few months later.

Expectations were high, but Al-Nassr fell short and only managed to secure second place in the league. Nevertheless, Ronaldo contributed 14 goals in 16 appearances, which is not a bad record considering he joined the club halfway through the season.

Despite this, the rumour mill could not be stopped from stating that he is seeking a move back to Europe even though he is still under contract until 2025. According to Goal, he rubbished these rumours by confirming that he plans to see out the remainder of his current deal. "I am happy and I want to continue and I will continue here. Next season the team will be better. We have improved in the last 5 or 6 months, and I am confident that we will win titles soon," he said.

Naturally, Having Ronaldo in the squad is only one piece of the puzzle, and the rest of the team also needs to step up. The same goes for the entire league in general if they want to be seen as one of the elite leagues in the world. That brings us to the potential arrivals of Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema, both European greats who are also being linked with moves to Saudi Arabia.

Ronaldo weighed in on the possible arrival of the two stars and said that they are welcome to join him. Messi has been linked with Al-Hilal for many months, and with his time at PSG effectively over, not many clubs can lay down a more lucrative offer. Meanwhile, Real Madrid striker Benzema was believed to be ready to sign an extension with the Spanish giants, but news of an offer from Saudi champions Al-Ittihad suddenly broke earlier this week. Benzema is reported to be seriously considering the offer.

"They are welcome...the league will improve, and it currently has wonderful foreign and Arab players," said Ronaldo.

Benzema silences rumours about Real Madrid exit

On Thursday, news outlets suddenly exploded with reports that Benzema is set to announce his departure from Real Madrid to accept the offer from Al-Ittihad. All eyes were on the Frenchman as he took the stage to accept the MARCA Leyenda award at the Real Casino de Madrid.

He stood in front of an audience itching to hear him address the reports, but he took his time and spoke about his illustrious career with Real Madrid so far. "Proud of my career. I remember when I signed for Real Madrid I was a kid, not as much as them, but I was 21... I just wanted to enjoy myself and look at everything I've won," he said.

He then went on to praise Los Blancos and speak about how proud he is to be part of the club's incomparable history. "There is no other club like Real Madrid, playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, the place where the greatest players in the sport have played. It's always been my dream because it's the best club in history."

Benzema then sang praises about club president Florentino Perez, who was incidentally the same president who signed him from Lyon all those years ago.

Later on, when was pressed to speak about his future, the prolific striker decided to wave away the reports saying, "Why do I have to talk about the future? I'm at Real Madrid. The reality is different, not what is said on the internet."

He then went on to say that he enjoys every moment in Madrid, giving fans hope that he might stay after all. However, he spoke about his plans for the immediate future, but nothing at all about next season.

"I have a game on Saturday, I train tomorrow, so at the moment I'm in Madrid," he said. The "safe" nature of his response also showed that he does not intend to make any announcements until after the current season is completely wrapped up. In other words, he only essentially guaranteed that he will be with Madrid until the end of the season, anything after that is still up in the air.

Messi set to leave PSG

Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) boss Christophe Galtier has confirmed that Messi will play his final game for the club this weekend against Clermont Foot.

His current deal runs out in June, and it is understood that both the club and the player are not interested in an extension. Things have been turbulent for Messi since joining PSG from Barcelona in 2021, even though the club has continued to dominate Ligue 1. However, Messi was not the most valuable player for the club, with much of his success coming on the national team level over the past two years.

FC Barcelona have been working hard to find a way to bring him back, but their financial troubles may make it impossible. Al-Hilal is reportedly interested in pitting him against Ronaldo once more, with MLS side Inter Miami also vocal about their pursuit of the Argentine.

It will be an interesting summer, with Ronaldo, Messi and Benzema potentially reuniting in Saudi Arabia while playing for the top three rival teams.