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Real to unveil Benzema on Thursday

SoccerNews in La Liga, Ligue 1 8 Jul 2009

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Real Madrid will officially unveil French international striker Karim Benzema on Thursday at its Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the Spanish giants said Wednesday.

The 21-year-old, who Real signed from French side Lyon for between 35 and 41 million euros in July 1, will be presented at 9 pm (1900 GMT), the club said in a statement.

“The new Real striker will have the opportunity to live the unforgettable experience which his other new teammates have already gone through,” it said.

Brazil’s Kaka was the first of the new recruits which Real has signed to be unveiled. His presentation on June 30 drew 55,000 fans.

Spanish international defender Raul Albiol was unveiled two days later before some 8,000 people while Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo drew over 75,000 people to his presentation on Monday.

Benzema, who has been compared to former French international and Real star Zinedine Zidane, was the first new player who Real president Florentino Perez signed after he returned to the helm of the club in June.

Real Madrid resume training Friday before flying to Dublin Monday for a pre-season training camp.

Four players are exempt from the stay in Ireland: the Spaniards Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Albiol and Kaka, who played the Confederations Cup in June in South Africa.

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