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Karim Benzema biography

Sat 20 March 2021 | 9:30

There are few strikers in the world of football that can reach the level of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. Surely many would like to know more about the French striker. Follow us below as we take a look at Karim Benzema biography and the life that he has led.

When

Karim Benzema

signed for Real Madrid from Olympique Lyonnais more than a decade ago, few could have thought that the striker would turn into the Spanish club’s absolute monarch in the center of attack, with many striker failing to replace him as the main forward. The Frenchman is only short of a World Cup to complete his trophy cabinet, as he is one of the most decorated footballers of all time.

When a player has such a status in the world of football, many rush in to find and gather information about their professional and personal lives so that they can get to know them better. That is why we have provided detailed information about

Karim Benzema bio

that will surely pique your interest.

Karim Benzema date of birth

is 19 December 1987, which means that he turned 33 years old in December 2020. The Real Madrid man shares his birthday with the likes of Chilean footballer

Alexis Sanchez

, who plays for Inter and English footballers Gary Cahill and

Fikayo Tomori

, who were all also born on 19 December.

While the former Olympique Lyon goal scorer’s birthday might have been unknown to many,

Karim Benzema nationality

is without a doubt known by almost everyone, as the former Lyon striker is a born and raised Frenchman, who was in fact born in the city of Lyon, where the likes of

Arsenal

striker Alexandre Lacazette and Middlesbrough forward Yannick Bolasie were born.

France is a country of cultures where people with various ethnical, cultural and religious backgrounds live together in harmony. Of course while many in France are Catholic Christians,

Karim Benzema religion

does not follow the predominant religion of the country, since his family originates from Algeria. The French striker is in fact a Muslim, who has been seen while traveling to Mecca for the annual Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj.

Everything you need to know about Karim Benzema bio

The details above about Karim Benzema biography is only a basic set of information about the France international. Following these bits of information about the former Olympique Lyon man, we have provided below details about Karim Benzema biography that will surely pique your interest.

Karim Benzema information

Before delving into the life of the French striker and taking a detailed look at

Karim Benzema biography

, we have listed below a series of basic information such as his height and other personal and technical info to give you an overview of what kind of a player he is.

Bio

  • Full name:

    Karim Mostafa Benzema

  • Nickname:

    Coco

Physical Stats

  • Height:

    1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Hair color:

    Dark Brown

  • Eye color:

    Light Brown

Football Information

  • Position:

    Striker

  • Jersey number:

    9

  • Professional debut:

    15 January, 2005

Personal Information

  • Date of birth:

    19 December 1987

  • Place of birth:

    Lyon, France

  • Marital status:

    Single

With the more basic and well-known information about the Real Madrid striker out of the way, let us have better look at his early days and see how

Karim Benzema childhood

used to be.

Karim Benzema early life

Karim Mostafa Benzema was born on 19 December 1987 in the city of Lyon in the country of France to Hafid Benzema, his father, and Wahida Djebbara, his mother. The Frenchman’s origins go back to

Algeria

, where his father was in fact born. The young talent grew up with eight other siblings in a family of eleven, which only meant that Benzema was a part of a football team even before realizing his talent in the game.

With the increasing danger of young Karim moving in the wrong direction in his life being exposed to several difficulties in a neighborhood in France as a family of immigrants. Learning more than enough discipline from his father, Benzema fell in love with football from an early age and joined his hometown youth club Bron Terraillon at the age of 8 years old, which proved to be a pivotal point in

Karim Benzema life story

. He got the nickname Coco early on during the first weeks of playing football as an 8 year old.

The young footballer’s first moment of attracting attention came during the U10 match against Lyon’s youth team, in which he managed to score two goals and turn all the heads towards himself, including Lyon’s club officials. Having been spotted by Lyon’s officials and scouts at the youth match, the French club visited the young Benzema personally and offered him a chance to join one of the best teams in France. Subsequently, the 9-year-old joined Lyon’s youth academy and served as a ball boy for the club’s senior side, having the chance to see the action for himself up close.

After being promoted to Lyon’s U-16 team, Benzema managed to score a phenomenal 32 goals for his side in the Under-16 French league “Championnat National des 16 ans”, which earned him another promotion as he joined the club’s reserves side, playing in the fourth division of the country’s football leagues. The record breakings of the Frenchman is not a new thing, as he was used to setting new milestones from an early age.

Benzema scored a team-high number of ten goals for his club’s reserves despite appearing in fewer games due to him being available in the autumn campaign only. His goal-scoring feats earned the reserves side the second spot in the group. Appearing in France U17 national team alongside the likes of

Hatem Ben Arfa

and Samir Nasri, Benzema and his team managed to beat Spain in the final of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship and take home the trophy.

Of course the young striker was not as prolific as he might have wanted, as he only scored one goal in the tournament, which came in the 3-1 win over Northern Ireland. Following his success at Lyon’s youth academy and reserves side and the France U17 national team, Karim Benzema was called up to

Olympique Lyonnais

’ senior side in the 2004-05 season, which saw the Frenchman truly start his senior professional club career.

Karim Benzema profile

Having been called to the first team by then manager Paul Le Guen, Benzema joined Lyon’s senior side mid-season after the winter break and got his name alongside the likes of Michael Essien and Eric Abidal. He made his professional on 15 January 2005 after coming on as a substitute for Pierre-Alain Frau in the 2-0 win over

Metz

, during which he managed to assist Bryan Bergougnoux for the second goal of the game.

Even though Benzema had appeared for the club’s senior side, he did not get to sign his first professional contract until some time later, as he signed a three-year deal with Lyon. Before the rejuvenation of

Paris Saint-Germain

and before seeing the Parisians sign some of the best footballers in the world for staggering figures, Lyon used to absolutely dominate French football in the early 2000s, as they won seven back-to-back league titles from 2001 until 2007.

Karim Benzema’s first season with the French club was a success as he got to make six appearances and prove that he did in fact have the talent to later become a regular starter for the club. Even though the French youngster struggled to get minutes on the pitch under his new boss Gerard Houllier and with the arrival of Brazilian striker Fred, he did get to score his first professional goal in the Champions League against Rosenborg, as well as scoring his first professional brace in the cup match against Grenoble, which ended in a 4-0 win.

While the former Lyon man used to deliver for his team in every season, it was during the 2007-08 season that he truly embraced his role as the club’s main striker and donned the number 10 shirt for the first time. The stats were enough to prove that Benzema had turned into the lethal striker that was expected of him, as he ended the season with 31 goals in 51 games across all competitions, which helped his club win their first ever double by winning the Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France.

Having become Lyon’s talisman and having been named by France Football for the 2008 Ballon d’Or award, which was won by

Cristiano Ronaldo

, Benzema signed a contract extension with his club that tied him to the Ligue 1 side until 2013, with the club having another one-year extension option as well. While the 2008-09 season was not much of a successful season for Lyon as they lost their grip on the Ligue 1, which ended their run of seven consecutive league titles, Karim Benzema’s career was about to change forever after the club’s disappointing season.

It was announced on the first day of July 2009 that the French striker was set to join Spanish giants

Real Madrid

for the fee of €35 million, which could rise up to €41 million based on how the Spanish club were to perform in the coming season. A week later, Karim Benzema officially joined Real Madrid after passing his medical and signed a six-year deal with one of the most decorated clubs in the world, who were dreaming of getting their hands on the long-awaited La Decima, their tenth Champions League title.

It was apparent from the very first season that Karim Benzema was set to become the untouchable number 9 in the club’s squad. Of course the young French star needed time to adapt to the new tactics of a whole another nation and footballing culture, while learning a new language to communicate with his teammates and coach. He went on to make 33 appearances in his first season with Real Madrid, scoring 9 goals and providing 6 assists.

While the number of appearances seem to be quite a lot considering he only managed to score 9 goals, it should be kept in mind that Karim Benzema usually came on from the bench as he was used as a super-sub rather than a starting player. He went on to truly prove his worth in his second season with Los Blancos, as he made 48 appearances and managed to score an impressive 26 goals while providing 9 assists in the process.

Karim Benzema used to struggle with his weight prior to his move to Real Madrid since the days of his childhood. But it all came to an end when he took the advice of Zidane and underwent special treatment to lose weight, which was a complete success as he joined his team in the 2011-12 pre-season having lost 8 Kilograms.

His game and performance only improved for the better from then on, as he became the club’s sole striker, who was able to venture to the left and right flanks with a free-roaming role, which enabled the striker to pair up with his then teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and later create one of the most lethal and formidable trios in football history alongside Ronaldo and

Gareth Bale

. Until 5 February 2021, Benzema has made 538 appearances for Real Madrid, scoring 264 goals and providing 140 assists in the process.

Style of play

Karim Benzema has always been known for his agility, quickness and technical abilities. He is able to easily get past opposition defenders or send the ball in to other players inside the box thanks to his vision and creativity. The best version of his quick 1-2 passing could be seen during the days he would partner-up with former Real Madrid and Arsenal man

Mesut Ozil

.

Benzema’s immense versatility has helped his managers to deploy him on a multitude of positions, as he is more than capable of carrying out the duties of a fake-9, coming short to get the ball or opening up the opposition defense by moving down the flanks instead of staying in the middle as a center-forward.

Reception

Even though there have been a number of criticisms aimed at the French footballer from time to time when he does not score in every game, Karim Benema has rarely heard anything less than a praise or a compliment from his managers since joining Real Madrid, with several other strikers attempting and failing in replacing Benzema as the main striker of Los Blancos.

His impressive work-rate and his tactical awareness are only some of the qualities that have helped him become a reliable goal scorer and a key figure in the squad of every manager that he has worked with. Such productivity and devotion to the team has also earned Benzema a special place in the hearts of the club’s supporters, who are usually quick to criticize and even jeer their own players due to their burning passion for their club.

Goal celebration

Even though Karim Benzema is one of the most prolific strikers of his generation, he does not have a flashy, fancy or ostentatious way to celebrate his goals, as he usually runs towards the crowd with his arms wide open, only to later make a first with his right hand and celebrate his goal with his teammates.

Karim Benzema outside football

Being one of the most prolific and hard-working strikers of his generation, Karim Benzema has been able to land eye watering sponsorship deals with the likes of sportswear giants Adidas, who are currently the French footballer’s outfitters and provide him with the best of their gear. The potent finisher has an overall rating of 89 on EA Sports’ FIFA 21 videogame, with a 4-star weak foot ability and a 4-star rated skill moves set. Benzemaa is also a car enthusiast and is usually seen in his extravagant and exotic cars on social media.

Karim Benzema personal life

Having gone through a history of Benzema’s career at different clubs including his childhood, we will be taking a look at the French striker’s personal life, from his family and children to his philanthropic aims and humanitarian efforts. Read on to find out more about

Karim Benzema biography

.

Family, children and relationships

It has already been settled that Karim Benzema comes from quite a crowded family, having grown up with eight siblings, whose names are Gressy, Nafissa, Sabri, Lydia, Farid, Laeticia, Sofia and Celia. While the Real Madrid man has a close relationship with his mother and the whole family, for some time Benzema seemed to be a lone wolf when it came to romantic relationships.

He is currently not married and has two children named Melia and Ibrahim. While the identity of Melia’s mother is unknown except for Benzema and maybe his family, Ibrahim’s mother is the model and social media star Cora Gauthier.

Philanthropy

There is no hard evidence about any philanthropic and humanitarian efforts done by the French striker.

Legal issues

Karim Benzema has been the subject of two controversial instances of legal matters throughout his life. The Real Madrid man allegedly was a client of a prostitution ring in a nightclub in Paris, and had allegedly had sexual intercourse with an underage prostitute who was believed to be 16 years old at the time.

While Benzema did deny the act itself through his lawyer, the case was finally dropped due to the belief that Benzema and other footballers such as Franck Ribery, who was also allegedly involved as a customer, were not aware of the prostitute’s age, as there was no evidence suggesting otherwise.

With his involvement in the case related to underage sex workers having caused enough controversy or Benzema, it was all more than doubled when he was arrested by French police for allegedly having a hand in the blackmailing of former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena. The case got so much attention that even then prime minister Manuel Valls stated his opinion on the matter, believing that there was no place in the national team for an athlete who could not act in an exemplary manner.

It was announced by the public prosecutor’s office on 7 January 2021, that the 33-year-old would finally face trial for the allegations about his involvement in the blackmail incident. This dispute cost Karim Benzema his place on the French national team, as he has had to sit out many events and watch the national games from home, which also cost him the 2018 World Cup as he could not get his hands on the prestigious trophy alongside his teammates.

Karim Benzema career statistics

Following the details presented above about the Real Madrid striker, we have provided below a set of information about Karim Benzema’s career both on club and international levels, detailing out how many games he has played and how many goals he has scored during those appearances.

Club

As a true footballing veteran, Karim Benzema has played for two clubs in his entire career, which obviously includes Olympique Lyonnais and

Real Madrid

. While playing for the former during the early years of his career, Benzema made a total of 148 appearances and managed to score 66 goals and provide 26 assists in the process.

He then later moved to Real Madrid and has since made a total of 538 appearances until 6 February 2021, scoring a brilliant 264 goals and providing a further 140 assists in the process. His goal scoring feats at Real Madrid made him the fifth highest goalscorer in the club’s history.

International

While Karim Benzema did not get the chance to truly shine for his country during international games due to the controversy that saw him banned from the national team, he did get to make his mark in the

France

national team. He made his international debut on 28 March, 2007, at the age of 19 years, 3 months and 9 days old. He then went on to make 81 appearances and score 27 goals for his country, while adding to his direct impacts by providing 18 assists as well.

Karim Benzema honors

Having played for two of the best clubs in Europe, the French goal scorer has turned into one of the most decorated players in football history. Overall, he won 4

Ligue 1

titles, 4 Trophée des Champions titles and 1 Coupe de France with Lyon, and has since won 3

La Liga

titles, 4 Champions League trophies, 2 Copas del Rey, 3 Super Copas de Espana, 4 FIFA Club World Cups and 3 UEFA Supercups. Aside from his heavy collective trophy cabinet, Benzema has also been named the French Footballer of the Year on three occasions in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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