Karim Benzema was the recipient of a truly spectacular unveiling this week as Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad laid on an extravaganza to introduce their new signing to the fans.

The France striker brought his 14-year association with Real Madrid to an end this month in order to begin a new chapter of his career in the Saudi Pro League after agreeing a lucrative three-year deal with Al Ittihad that is scheduled to formally begin on July 1.

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With the No. 9 shirt on his back, Benzema was presented in front of around 60,000 fans at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium. The show began with the stadium cloaked in darkness before a large spotlight silhouetted the 35-year-old as he emerged from the tunnel.

As well as intermittent bursts of pyrotechnic flames, an enormous cacophony of cheers from the fans in the stands then accompanied Benzema as he strode out onto a plinth in the centre of the pitch.

Al Ittihad’s marquee arrival was then left to wave to his new fans as the stadium light show began to ripple and pulse as a volley of fireworks illuminated the night sky above Jeddah.

There were also slightly awkward scenes as Benzema was re-presented with the Ballon d’Or he won while playing for a different club in October last year in scenes eerily similar to those foisted upon former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo when he was forced to show off his trophy as he was unveiled at Real Madrid in 2009.

Benzema then greeted the crowd by taking the mic and uttering his first words as an Al Ittihad player: “Yemshi kida kida,” which roughly translates as “It walks like this” — a reference to the fearsome tiger the club use as a mascot.

Benzema had time for a selfie, and later posted a photo from the evening on Instagram along with a brief message of thanks to the supporters in attendance.

“Thank you Jeddah, from the bottom of my heart,” he wrote. “Tonight was a very special moment that I will never forget.”

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Karim Benzema’s presentation at Al Ittihad was amazing