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Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema (; born 20 December 1987) is a List of France international footballers who currently plays for Real Madrid C.F. in the Spain La Liga. Karim Benzema primarily plays as a striker whose influence can extend out to the Midfielder Winger and is known for Karim Benzema technical ability, powerful style of play, and vast goal-scoring ability. Karim Benzema is described as an "immensely-talented striker" who is "strong and powerful" and "a potent finisher from inside the box".

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Karim Benzema biography

Karim Benzema (; born 20 December 1987) is a List of France international footballers who currently plays for Real Madrid C.F. in the Spain La Liga. Karim Benzema primarily plays as a striker whose influence can extend out to the Midfielder Winger and is known for Karim Benzema technical ability, powerful style of play, and vast goal-scoring ability. Karim Benzema is 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 beginning Karim Benzema football career with local club Bron Terraillon. In 1996, Karim Benzema joined the biggest club in the city Olympique Lyonnais and, subsequently, came through the Olympique Lyonnais Reserves and Academy. Benzema made Karim Benzema professional debut in the 2004–05 Ligue 1 and appeared sporadically in Karim Benzema first three seasons as Lyon won three titles in that span. In the 2007–08 Ligue 1, Benzema became a starter and had a breakthrough year scoring over 30 goals as Lyon won its seventh straight league title. For Karim Benzema performances, Karim Benzema was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Trophées UNFP du football Player of the Year and named to the organization's Trophées UNFP du football 2008. Benzema was also the Top goalscorers in Ligue 1 and given the Bravo Award by Italy magazine Guerin Sportivo. After another season at Lyon, in July 2009, Benzema signed a six-year contract with Spanish outfit Real Madrid C.F.. After struggling to establish himself in Karim Benzema debut season with the club, in the 2010–11 La Liga, Benzema reached prominence scoring 26 goals en-route to helping Real Madrid win the 2010–11 Copa del Rey. In December 2011, Karim Benzema was named the France Football French player of the year for Karim Benzema performances during the calendar year.

Benzema is a former France national youth football team and has represented Karim Benzema nation from France national under-17 football team onwards. Prior to playing for the France national football team, Karim Benzema played on the under-17 team that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship. Benzema made Karim Benzema senior international debut in March 2007 in a friendly match against Austria national football team. On Karim Benzema debut, Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema first international goal in a 1–0 win. Benzema has represented France at one major international tournament; UEFA Euro 2008. Karim Benzema made two appearances in the competition against Romania national football team and Italy national football team in the group stage.

Personal life

Benzema was born in Lyon, to parents of Algerian descent. Benzema grew up with nine siblings and Karim Benzema father Hafid in the nearby town of Bron. Karim Benzema grandfather, Da Lakehal Benzema, lived in the village of Tighzert, located in the northern town of Beni Djellil in Algeria before migrating to Lyon, where Karim Benzema eventually settled in the 1950s.

On 18 April 2010, it was first reported by French television service M6 (TV channel) that four members of the French national team were being investigated for their roles as clients in a prostitute ring that was being operated inside of a Paris nightclub with some of the women possibly being underage. The report also stated that two of the players were already questioned as witnesses by Judiciary of France André Dando and a group of magistrates. The report described the two players as being one who “is a major player in a big foreign club” and that the other “plays in the championship of France Ligue 1". Later that day, the players were discovered to be Franck Ribéry and Sidney Govou. The other two players were later discovered to be Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa. Benzema was alleged to have had a sexual rendezvous with a prostitute when she was 16 years of age, an act Benzema has denied through Karim Benzema lawyer. On 29 April, the country's Secretary of State for Sports Rama Yade, after refusing to publicly comment on the case in its infancy, declared that any player placed under investigation should not represent the France national team. The following day, a judicial source confirmed that Benzema would not be questioned, if at all, before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 20 July, Benzema was questioned by Paris National Police (France) and, following questioning, was Indictment by judge Dando on the charge of "solicitation of a minor prostitute".

Club career


Early career

Benzema is a graduate of the Lyon academy. Before joining Lyon, Karim Benzema trained at local Rhône-Alpes club Bron Terraillon SC in the commune Bron, a suburb of Lyon. Karim Benzema performances with Bron's youth team caught the attention of Lyon scouts and Karim Benzema joined the academy in 1996 at the age of 9. Benzema quickly ascended up the ranks scoring 38 goals in one season with Olympique Lyonnais Reserves and Academy Current Academy players and scoring 12 goals in 14 matches with Olympique Lyonnais Reserves and Academy Olympique Lyonnais CFA before earning a call up to the senior squad by manager Paul Le Guen.

Karim Benzema made Karim Benzema league debut for Lyon on 15 January 2005 during the Ligue 1 season 2004-05 in a match against FC Metz, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute. Lyon won the match 2–0 with Benzema providing the assist on the second goal scored by Bryan Bergougnoux. Five days later, Karim Benzema signed Karim Benzema first professional contract, agreeing to a three-year deal. Over the next two seasons, Karim Benzema play was limited making a total of 34 appearances and scoring six goals, including Karim Benzema first ever against AC Ajaccio in a 3–1 win, as well as Karim Benzema first UEFA Champions League goal against Norway club Rosenborg BK in a 2–1 victory.

Breakthrough season

For the Ligue 1 2007-08 season, with the likes of Florent Malouda, John Carew, and Sylvain Wiltord all departing from the club, Benzema, despite being 19 at the time, switched to the number 10 shirt and was inserted into the lead striker role. After forming a special relationship with new manager Alain Perrin, Karim Benzema responded with 31 goals in 51 games. Karim Benzema topped the league with 20 goals, scored four goals in the UEFA Champions League, one in the Coupe de la Ligue, and totaled six goals in six Coupe de France matches, helping Lyon win their first ever Double (association football). Some of Karim Benzema more dazzling performances that season included a hat-trick against Metz on 15 September, an Equaliser (sports) in the 90th minute from a Direct free kick against Derby du Rhône rivals AS Saint-Étienne, and a goal against RC Lens that was nominated for goal of the season by fans.

In the Champions League, Benzema scored an important double against Rangers F.C. at Ibrox Stadium on the last match day of UEFA Champions League 2007–08 Group stage. The 3–0 victory assured Lyon progression to the knockout rounds. In UEFA Champions League 2007–08 Knockout stage, Lyon faced Manchester United F.C. and Benzema continued to score, this time it was from outside the Penalty area in the first leg match which ended in a 1–1 draw and United eventually won the tie 1–2 on aggregate. Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and players praised Benzema for Karim Benzema performance. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later accused Ferguson of tapping-up Benzema.

On 13 March 2008, Benzema extended Karim Benzema contract with Lyon until 2013 with a one year extension option. After signing Karim Benzema new contract, Benzema became one of the highest paid footballers in France. For Karim Benzema efforts that season, Karim Benzema was named the Ligue 1 Trophées UNFP du football Player of the Year, selected to the Trophées UNFP du football 2009, and awarded the Trophée du Meilleur Buteur for being the league's top scorer. Karim Benzema was also shortlisted by the French magazine France Football for the Ballon d'Or 2008 award, won by Cristiano Ronaldo.

2008–09 season

Benzema got off to a good start for the Ligue 1 season 2008–09 scoring twice in Lyon's opening league match against Toulouse FC. The following three weeks, Karim Benzema scored goals against Rhône-Alpes rivals Grenoble Foot 38 and Saint-Étienne and scored a goal against OGC Nice, converting a penalty kick in the dying seconds. Lyon won all three matches. As a result of Karim Benzema early goals, Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas quelled the many transfer rumors surrounding Benzema by placing a €100 million price tag on the striker. Karim Benzema was also nominated alongside Franck Ribéry to be featured on the French cover of the video game FIFA 09.
Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema seventh goal of the league on 29 October, scoring in the 2–0 win over FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. Benzema scored again the following weekend in a 2–0 win over Le Mans. Karim Benzema was among the top scorers in the UEFA Champions League 2008–09 group stage, scoring five goals, a double against FC Steaua Bucureşti, two goals in two matches against ACF Fiorentina, and a goal against the eventual group winners FC Bayern Munich on the final match day.

Following the Christmas and holiday season, Benzema endured a rough patch going scoreless the first three games before recording Karim Benzema 11th goal of the season against Nice in a 3–1 victory. Two weeks later, Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema 12th goal against AS Nancy in a 2–0 victory. The next nine matches, both Benzema and Lyon's form dwindled losing four matches, drawing three, and winning only two with Benzema scoring only two goals in that stretch, both of them against Le Mans in a 3–1 victory. The bad form resulted in Lyon losing their grip on first place position and eventually falling out of the title race, thus ending their streak of seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles. Benzema was a part of four of those title runs.

Despite losing the title, Benzema got back on track scoring Karim Benzema 15th and 16th goals of the season on 17 May in a 3–1 away victory over rivals Olympique de Marseille, the first goal being a penalty. Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema 17th goal the following weekend against SM Caen in a 3–1 victory moving Karim Benzema into third place among Ligue 1 top scorers.

Real Madrid

2009–10 season

On 1 July 2009, it was announced that Lyon had reached an agreement with Spanish club Real Madrid C.F. for the transfer of Benzema. The transfer fee was priced at €35 million with the fee rising to as much as €41 million based on incentives. On 9 July, Benzema successfully passed Karim Benzema medical and signed Karim Benzema contract, a six-year deal, later that afternoon. Karim Benzema was presented officially as a Real Madrid player later that night at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, similarly to the previous signings of Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo. Benzema made Karim Benzema Real Madrid debut on 20 July in the club's opening pre-season Exhibition game against Republic of Ireland club Shamrock Rovers F.C. in Dublin, appearing as a halftime substitute. Karim Benzema scored the lone goal in the club's 1–0 win, scoring in the 87th minute. On 24 August, Benzema netted two goals in Real Madrid's 4–0 victory over Norway club Rosenborg BK in an annual friendly tournament organized for the Trofeo Santiago Bernabéu. The goals brought Karim Benzema total tally in the preseason with Real Madrid to five, making Karim Benzema the joint top scorer alongside fellow striker Raúl González.

Karim Benzema made Karim Benzema 2009–10 La Liga debut on 29 August against Deportivo de La Coruña. Benzema scored Karim Benzema first official goal for Madrid on 20 September 2009 at home against newly promoted side Xerez CD in a 5–0 victory. Six days later, Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema first Brace (sports) for the club in a 3–0 home victory over CD Tenerife. On 3 November, Benzema made Karim Benzema first UEFA Club goal for Madrid in a 1–1 draw against A.C. Milan at the San Siro. Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema second brace on 30 January 2010 for the club against Deportivo.

2010–11 season

The new season started slowly for Benzema, Karim Benzema was mainly used as a substitute early on the season, but due to a serious injury to Gonzalo Higuaín and the team's lack of senior strikers, Benzema was given more starts by José Mourinho. On 4 December, Benzema netted a hat-trick in a 4–0 victory against AJ Auxerre, the first goal being Real Madrid's 300th goal in the UEFA Champions League era. Karim Benzema second hat-trick came on 22 December 2010 in a 8–0 thrashing in a Copa del Rey match against Levante.

On 22 February 2011, Benzema opened the scoring in the 1–1 draw against Karim Benzema former club Olympique Lyonnais at Stade de Gerland. The France striker scored just after 40 seconds coming on as a substitute on the 62nd minute in which Karim Benzema dodged three players and placed the ball between the legs of Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The goal was the 100th goal of Karim Benzema professional senior career, and also the first goal for Real Madrid at Stade de Gerland in 6 years. Nevertheless Karim Benzema did not celebrate the goal out of respect for Karim Benzema former club. Karim Benzema then continued Karim Benzema fine form by scoring twice in the 7–0 win against Malaga, Karim Benzema added another brace (two goals) against Racing Santander in a 1–3 away win on 6 March 2011. Six days later, Karim Benzema scored another two against Hércules CF helping Madrid to a 2–0 victory, making it Karim Benzema third consecutive brace for Karim Benzema club. Karim Benzema also scored the opener in the 1–2 away win at Vicente Calderón Stadium in the El Derbi madrileño match against Atlético Madrid on 19 March 2011, which took Karim Benzema tally to 10 goals in Karim Benzema last 8 games. After missing several weeks through injury, Karim Benzema returned to score a goal on 23 April in a 3–6 win against Valencia C.F.. In Real Madrid's last game of 2010–11 season against UD Almería, Karim Benzema scored two goals in an 8–1 home win
which summarize Karim Benzema season with 26 goals in 31 starts and 17 substitute appearances.

2011–12 season

Benzema was impressive in the preseason matches, scoring 8 goals in 7 games. Karim Benzema opened Karim Benzema tally in the new league season with a brace against Getafe CF on September 10. Karim Benzema then scored against Dutch club AFC Ajax in Real Madrid's 3–0 2011–12 UEFA Champions League win. On 10 December 2011, Benzema scored the fastest ever El Clásico goal, just 22 seconds into the game but eventually the opposing team, FC Barcelona, scored 3 goals (Alexis Sanchez, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas), ending with Real Madrid loosing the game, with Karim's goal as the only one for the team.

International career

In 2004, Karim Benzema was a part of the France national youth football team France national under-17 squad that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, the nation's first ever. In the tournament, which was played on France, Benzema scored one goal against Northern Ireland national football team in the group stage. Benzema later played with the under-18 team at the 2005 UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup of the UEFA-CAF Meridian Cup. Karim Benzema played in all four matches scoring a tournament-leading five goals helping France win the tournament. During the Ligue 1 2005–06, Karim Benzema played with the France national under-19 football team making eight appearances scoring four goals before earning a call up to the France national under-21 football team who were attempting to qualify for the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. Benzema made only five appearances with the team scoring no goals. Karim Benzema final appearances with the squad was in their shocking two-legged loss to Israel national under-21 football team in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Playoffs to determine the participants in the UEFA under-21 tournament.

Before representing France, Benzema was eligible for Algeria national football team and was called up to the squad by the Fédération Algérienne de Football in December 2006, but turned them down stating, "Algeria is my parents’ country and it is in my heart, but football-wise I will only play for the French national team." Karim Benzema next two goals came in one game against the Faroe Islands national football team, who France subsequently beat 6–0.

Karim Benzema was selected to represent France at UEFA Euro 2008. France's Euro 2008 campaign opened with a 0–0 draw against Romania national football team and after a frustrating performance, Karim Benzema was substituted in the second half and played no part in their following game, a 1–4 defeat to the Netherlands national football team. In the last group game, France lost 2–0 to Italy national football team and Benzema featured in the starting lineup. Karim Benzema has now adopted the number 10 for France. Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema first goal since adopting the jersey from the penalty spot against Turkey national football team on 5 June 2009 in a friendly where they won 1–0.
Benzema was left out of France's preliminary 30-man squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup announced by manager Raymond Domenech on 11 May 2010. Domenech cited Karim Benzema poor season with Real Madrid, rather than Karim Benzema alleged involvement in a sex scandal.

Following the World Cup, Benzema returned to the national team under new manager Laurent Blanc. After going almost a year without representing France, Karim Benzema made Karim Benzema return to the team in its 2–1 defeat to Norway national football team. Alongside Yoann Gourcuff, Benzema led the team in scoring in UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group D for UEFA Euro 2012 netting three. Karim Benzema scored Karim Benzema three goals in wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team, Luxembourg national football team, and Albania national football team. On 17 November 2010, Benzema scored the opening goal in France's 2–1 win over England national football team at Wembley Stadium. In the team's next match against Brazil national football team in February 2011, Karim Benzema scored the only goal for France in a 1–0 win.


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