France international Karim Benzema has returned to Ittihad Jeddah’s training sessions on Friday following an absence of nearly 45 days.
This marks Benzema’s first group training session since the suspension of the Saudi Pro League in late December due to the AFC Asian Cup. Benzema faced a crisis with coach Gallardo, missing sessions, resulting in his exclusion from the recent Dubai camp.
He also missed the matches against Al Faisaly in the King’s Cup and Al Taawoun in the league. Throughout the camp, Benzema trained individually at the club’s headquarters in Jeddah. Last Wednesday, It was reported that Ittihad’s officials resolved the dispute between Benzema and Gallardo.
Last Monday, the world-renowned star participated in a portion of the team’s training, focusing solely on fitness at the coaching staff’s decision. Following a day of rest after their 3-0 victory against Al Taawoun last Wednesday in a postponed league match, Ittihad resumed training sessions in preparation for the AFC Champions League, which saw Benzema finally joining the team after completing individual exercises.
Ittihad’s official Twitter account shared several photos of Benzema participating in group training, captioned “KB9 Back” and another post, “All eyes on me.”
This marks a significant return for the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, who had deleted all photos related to Ittihad from his Instagram account, sparking speculations of a new crisis.