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Karim Benzema is a French professional footballer currently playing for the Spanish football club Real Madrid and the French national team. He joined Lyon-based Olympique Lyonnais at age 9 and made his professional debut in the 2004-2005 season. In 2007 he scored over 30 goals to become top scorer in Ligue 1 and lead Lyon to their seventh consecutive league title.
The following year he was named ‘Ligue 1 Player of the Year’ and was featured in the ‘Team of the Year’ by UNFP; he also signed a six-year contract with Real Madrid, winning several achievements with them including La Liga and the copa del Rey trophy. In 2009 he became ‘French Player of the Year’ for the first time, earning it two more times since then; his performance for both club and country has been impressive so far.
Benzema played a major role as part of the ‘Under-17’ team that won the 2004 ‘UEFA European Under-17 Championship,’ and went on to make his senior debut for France in March 2007. He also featured in three major international tournaments, the 2008 and 2012 ‘UEFA European Football Championship’ and the 2014 ‘FIFA World Cup.’
Early Life & Childhood
- Benzema was born in Lyon, France, on December 19, 1987. He was raised in Bron, a suburb of Lyon, along with eight other siblings. His parents(Hafid Benzema and Wahida Djebbara) were both French-Algerian nationals.
- At age 8, He joined the local football club ‘Bron Terraillon SC.’ His younger brothers Sabri and Gressy also became footballers. After scoring two goals against the youth academy of ‘Lyon’ in an Under-10 match, he attracted the attention of club officials and eventually joined the team in 1996.
- Upon joining Lyon, he was made part of the club’s academy, where he soon climbed up the youth ranks. In the French domestic league for footballers below the age of 16—known as ‘Championnat National des 16 ans’—he scored 38 goals.
- Benzema was promoted from the club’s academy team to the reserve team prior to the 2004–2005 season of France’s top football league- Ligue 1.
- On January 15, 2005, Benzema made his professional debut against FC Metz. Lyon won the match 2–0. This was followed by a three-year professional contract with the club. Lyon won its fourth successive league title that season.
- On December 6, 2005, in the final group-stage match of the UEFA Champions League against Rosenborg, Benzema made his debut for Lyon, scoring the team’s second goal in a 2–1 victory. It was his first champions league goal.
- In January 2006, he scored his first professional double against Grenoble in the ‘Coupe de France.’ In March of the same year, he netted his first league goal against Ajaccio.
- During the 2007–2008 season, he played as the team’s lead striker, scoring 20 goals and topping the league. This achievement won him the ‘Trophée du Meilleur Buteur’ award.
- He scored a goal in the ‘Coupe de la Ligue,’ four goals in the ‘Champions League,’ six goals in six ‘Coupe de France’ matches and a hat-trick against ‘Metz.’ Benzema helped Lyon earn their first double in club history.
- He signed a contract extension with Lyon in 2008, which extended his contract to 2013 with an option for a one-year extension. That season, the UNFP named him the Ligue 1 Player of the Year and included him in its Team of the Year. He also won the Bravo Award from the Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo in 2008.
- In 2009, he joined Spanish football club Real Madrid. His debut with the club came in a pre-season friendly against Irish club Shamrock Rovers on July 20, 2009, when he scored his first goal for Real Madrid. He led them to a 1–0 win.
- On August 24, 2009, Benzema scored two goals against Rosenborg in an annual friendly tournament called the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy, which Real Madrid won 4-0.
- He debuted in the league on August 29, 2009, against Deportivo La Coruña. His first goal came in September 2009 when Real Madrid beat Xerez 5-0. He also debuted in the Champions League on September 30 that year.
- His first hat trick for the club came in a match against Auxerre during the 2010–2011 season. Real Madrid won 4–0 in the same match, with the first goal marking the 300th scored by Real Madrid in Champions League play. Benzema second hat-trick came in a Copa del Rey match against Levante; Real Madrid won 8–0.
- On April 20, 2011, he was part of the Real Madrid squad that defeated Barcelona 1–0 in the Copa del Rey finals. On December 10, 2011, he scored the fastest goal in an El Clásico in just 21 seconds of play. He was named French Player of the Year by France Football in 2011.
- Benzema signed a new five-year deal with ‘Real Madrid’ on August 6, 2014. The deal stated that he would be with the club till 2019. In October 2014, he was named the ‘La Liga Player of the Month.’
- On September 20, 2017, he signed a contract extension with the club that would keep him there until 2021.
- Benzema has been a part of the club’s squad that won several titles in recent years. He was on the team that became champion of La Liga twice, in 2011–2012 and 2016–2017. He also won the Supercopa de España with Madrid, in 2012 and 2017. Benzema was also a part of Madrid’s squad that won the UEFA Champions League four times, in 2013–2014, 2015–2016, and 2016–2017. He also helped the club win both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
- The forward has been named to the La Liga Team of the Season three consecutive seasons (2018–19, 2019–20 and 2020–21). While at Real Madrid, he has also been named French Player of the Year four times.
- He represented France at the international level from a young age, starting with the under-17 team. In 2004, he helped France capture the UEFA European Under-17 Championship with a 2-1 victory over Spain on May 15, 2004.
- He debuted for France national team in 2007 and represented his country in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, as well as the 2014 World Cup. However, he was not selected for France’s 2010 World Cup and 2016 European Championship squads.
- He was romantically involved with Manon Marsault from 2010 to 2013. He has two children, a daughter born in 2014 and a son born in 2017.
- He is a devout Muslim who observes the holy month of Ramadan by fasting.
Full name: Karim Mostafa Benzema Gender: Male
Date of birth: 19 December 1987
Age: 34 years (as of April 2022)
Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
Place of birth: Lyon, France
Current residence: Ciudalcampo
Religion: Islam Height in feet: 6’1″
Height in centimeters: 185
Weight in kilograms: 80
Weight in pounds: 176
Hair color: Dark Brown
Eye color: Light brown
Marital status: Married
Current Club: Real Madrid FC
Net worth: $70 Million