|Full name||Karim Mostafa Benzema|
|Date of birth||19 December 1987|
|Place of birth||Lyon, France|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
Karim Mostafa Benzema (born 19 December 1987) is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Real Madrid and the France national team. He has been described as an “immensely talented striker” who is “strong and powerful” and “a potent finisher from inside the box”.
Benzema was born in the city of Lyon and began his football career with local club Bron Terraillon. In 1996, he joined Olympique Lyonnais, and subsequently came through the club’s youth academy. Benzema made his professional debut in the 2004–05 seasonand appeared sporadically in his first three seasons as Lyon won three titles in that span. In the 2007–08 season, Benzema became a starter and had a breakthrough year scoring over 30 goals as Lyon won its seventh straight league title. For his performances, he was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Player of the Year and named to the organization’s Team of the Year. Benzema was also the league’s top scorer and given the Bravo Award by Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo. After another season at Lyon, in July 2009, Benzema moved to Real Madrid in a transfer fee worth over €35 million ($50 million), and signed a six-year contract. After struggling to establish himself in his debut season with the club, in the ensuing two seasons, Benzema reached prominence, scoring 32 goals en route to helping Real Madrid win the Copa del Rey in 2011 and the 2011–12 edition of La Liga. He has been named French Player of the Year three times for his performances in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Benzema is a former French youth international and has represented his nation from under-17 level onwards. Prior to playing for the senior team, he played on the under-17 team that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. Benzema made his senior international debut in March 2007 in a friendly match against Austria, scoring in a 1–0 win. Benzema has earned over 80 caps and represented France at three major international tournaments: the 2008 and 2012 editions of the UEFA European Football Championship and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, Benzema has been left out of major tournament squads on three occasions: 2010 World Cup due to lack of playing time with Real Madrid, Euro 2016 after a publicised scandal involving blackmail, and 2018 World Cup for alleged tactical reasons.
Style of play
A skillful, quick, agile, and prolific forward, who is good in the air and capable of playing off the shoulders of the last defender, Benzema has been described as an “immensely talented striker” who is “strong and powerful” and “a potent finisher from inside the box” with either foot, as well as his head, despite being naturally right footed.An atypical number 9, although he is usually deployed as a centre forward, and can operate as an out-and-out striker, Benzema is also capable of playing in several other offensive positions, and has been used on the wing, or even behind the main striker as a number 10 or deep-lying forward. In addition to his goalscoring, Benzema is indeed known for his willingness and ability to drop into deeper or wider positions, and either link-up play with midfielders, or use his strength and technical ability to hold up the ball with his back to goal to provide assists for teammates, courtesy of his vision, creativity, passing, and eye for the final ball; because of his playing style, he has been described as a “nine and a half” in the media. During his time at Real Madrid, he has also been praised for his work-rate and tactical intelligence off the ball, as well as his positional sense and attacking movement as a forward, which often draws opposition defenders out of position, and in turn creates spaces for Cristiano Ronaldo to make attacking runs into the centre of the area from the left wing, which essentially sees him acting as a false 9.
- As of 6 October 2018
- As of 8 October 2015
- Ligue 1: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08
- Coupe de France: 2007–08
- Trophée des Champions: 2006, 2007
- Real Madrid
- La Liga: 2011–12, 2016–17
- Copa del Rey: 2010–11, 2013–14
- Supercopa de España: 2012, 2017
- UEFA Champions League: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- UEFA Super Cup: 2014, 2016, 2017
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2014, 2016, 2017
- UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship: 2004
- Bravo Award: 2008
- Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer: 2007–08
- UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Month: January 2008, April 2008
- UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year: 2007–08
- UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2007–08
- Étoile d’Or: 2007–08
- FIFA FIFPro World XI Nominee: 2009, 2011, 2012
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 3rd team: 2015, 2017
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2014, 2016
- FIFA FIFPro World XI 5th team: 2018
- UEFA Champions League top assist provider: 2011–12
- La Liga Player of the Month: October 2014
- French Player of the Year: 2011, 2012, 2014
- Fastest goal in an El Clásico on 10 December 2011 (21 seconds)
Karim Benzema was born in the city of Lyon, France to French nationals of Algerian descent. As a practicing Muslim, he observes fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. His grandfather, Da Lakehal Benzema, lived in the village of Tigzirt, located in the northern town of Beni Djellil in Algeria before migrating to Lyon, where he eventually settled in the 1950s.Benzema’s father, Hafid, was born in Tigzirt, while his mother, Wahida Djebbara, was born and raised in Lyon; her family originated from Oran. Benzema is the third youngest in the family and grew up with eight other siblings in Bron, an eastern suburb of Lyon.His younger brothers Gressy and Sabri are also footballers. The former currently plies his trade at the amateur level with Vaulx-le-Velin in the Division d’Honneur, the sixth division of French football, while the latter plays in the youth academy of a club in the family’s hometown of Bron.
On 3 February 2014, his daughter Mélia was born.On 5 May 2017, his son Ibrahim was born.
- France profile
- Official website (in French)
- Real Madrid official profile
- Karim Benzema at Soccerway
- Karim Benzema – FIFA competition record
- Karim Benzema – UEFA competition record
- Karim Benzema – French league stats at LFP
- Karim Benzema at L’Équipe Football (in French)
- Karim Benzema at Soccerbase