Karim Benzema bid farewell to Real Madrid in style, netting a goal in his last appearance for the club as they played out a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in their final La Liga match of the season at the Bernabeu.
The 35-year-old striker, who stands second on Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorers list, calmly converted a penalty after Eder Militao was fouled inside the box.
Benzema’s 14-year stay at the Bernabeu came to an end, with reports suggesting a move to Saudi Arabia.
Earlier in the game, Oihan Sancet had given Athletic Bilbao the lead with a powerful strike from close range.
Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid’s goalkeeper, made an excellent save to deny Sancet before he found the back of the net.
Courtois also kept out a penalty from Mikel Vesga, who took the spot-kick after Toni Kroos was penalized for a handball.
Real Madrid had a late opportunity to secure a victory when Rodrygo failed to convert Vinicius Jr’s low cross from inside the six-yard box, sending the ball over the crossbar.
Although Benzema had a relatively quiet game, his penalty, confidently placed in the middle of the goal, served as a fitting end to his illustrious career in Spain.
With five Champions League titles and four La Liga titles to his name, Benzema left the field in the 74th minute to a tremendous ovation from the home crowd, making way for Luka Modric.
The departing Marco Asensio, who will also leave Real Madrid this summer after eight years, received a similarly warm reception when he was substituted during stoppage time.
However, Eden Hazard, the former Chelsea forward, did not make a farewell appearance and remained an unused substitute before his departure on June 30th.
Real Madrid finished the season as runners-up in the league, trailing behind champions Barcelona.
Elsewhere, in an unexpected turn of events, Gabri Veiga scored twice for Celta Vigo, leading them to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona and securing their place in La Liga for the 12th consecutive season.
Celta Vigo entered the final day with a slim one-point lead over the relegation zone, but 21-year-old Veiga found the net just before halftime and added another goal, bringing his tally for the season to 11.
Ansu Fati, the 20-year-old Spanish forward, managed to pull one back for Barcelona with a late header, but Celta Vigo held on to secure a 13th-place finish.
Real Valladolid’s fate was sealed as they were relegated following a goalless draw against Getafe, which kept them in the bottom three.
Having been promoted just last season, Real Valladolid will return to Spain’s second tier alongside Espanyol and Elche, who had already suffered the same fate.
Barcelona’s defeat meant they lost three out of their four matches following their triumph over Espanyol, which secured their first league title since the 2018-19 season.