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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema: "I want to retire here"

Benzema: 'I want to retire at Real Madrid'
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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema thanks the club for standing by him during "the most complicated moments" of his career, as he outlines his intention to stay put.

Karim Benzema has revealed that he intends to see out the remainder of his playing career at Real Madrid after signing a new long-term deal with the club.

The former Lyon striker committed his future to Los Blancos on Wednesday by extending his contract until 2021, taking him to 12 years at the Bernabeu if he sees it through.

Benzema has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Madrid in recent years, most recently being tipped to join Arsenal on deadline day last month, but he is prepared to stay put until his playing career comes to an end.

"Madrid's been like a family for me throughout the most complicated moments of my career," he told reporters. "They supported me in sporting and non-sporting matters. I feel loved at Real Madrid. I like Real Madrid's football and of course I want to retire here. There's no other club like Real Madrid. This will be my last club."

Asked about some of the personal abuse he has faced during his time at Madrid, Benzema added: "The criticism doesn't affect me. It's part of my life. It's what happens when you're at a high level.

"I've accepted it. If you're criticised, it's because more is expected of you and I will work hard to make that happen. That allows me to continue at a high level, at Real Madrid it's always like this."

Benzema has scored just one goal in all competitions so far this season in his five appearances.

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Karim Benzema, who got the keys to my bimmer, celebrates scoring during the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Espanyol on January 31, 2016
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