Karim Mostafa Benzema is a French football player born on December 19th, 1987 in the city of Lyon. The striker began his career with the local club called Bron Terraillon but he moved to Olympique Lyon in 1996 when he was just 9 years old.
Benzema spent eight years in Lyon’s youth academy before he was moved to Lyon B – the team’s affiliate that plays in lower French leagues. However, he also made his debut for the first team in 2004 but he only played sporadically for the first team while he developed further at the affiliate.
He became a regular first-team member in 2006 and remained at Lyon until 2009. During his career with the French team, he won League 1 four times and one French Cup. He was also the top goalscorer in the league on one occasion. Benzema finally made transfer news in 2009 when he joined Real Madrid.
His first season in Madrid wasn’t very successful since he struggled to break into the first team. However, he quickly adapted and proved his worth as a prolific goalscorer and powerful presence in the team’s attack. Benzema is still at the club with which he won three domestic leagues, two domestic cups and four Champions League titles.
Benzema also had a lot of success with the French national team since he represented France at the 2008 and 2012 Euro Cups and the 2014 World Cup. Before that, he won the U-17 European Championship in 2004. However, he missed the last two international tournaments due to a major scandal that involved blackmail, as well as alleged tactical reasons.
Karim Benzema Transfers and Rumours
- 1996: Bron Terraillon to Olympique Lyon – Free Transfer
- 2009: Olympique Lyon to Real Madrid – £31.5 million
After arriving at Lyon in 1996 and spending his developing years at their academy, Benzema grew into a strong, creative and efficient forward. His professional career with Lyon lasted for 5 years and his transfer odds grew with each successful season in France.
Among many transfer rumours, football whispers and gossip, it was difficult to determine what was true and what teams were really interested to sign Benzema. One thing is for sure – he was one of the top transfer targets for Real Madrid.
The interest from the Spanish side resulted in a formal bid in 2009 and Benzema moved to Santiago Bernabeu for a fee of around £32 million. During his time in Madrid, Benzema was also linked with many other teams, especially in the last few years.
For example, it was reported just a couple of years ago that Benzema will leave Real and that French clubs like Marseille, PSG and Monaco were interested in signing him. His old club Lyon was reportedly also engaged in the pursuit.
However, Benzema remained at Real Madrid and managed to earn back the confidence from the manager and the board. At the moment, it seems quite possible that Benzema will retire in Madrid but the world of football is unpredictable and things can change rather quickly.