One of the game’s most underrated players, whose class and control were often overlooked even by his own fans. Despite this, he is the Frenchman with the most Real Madrid goals, and has been a reliable partner for legends like Cristiano Ronaldo. Learn more about Karim Benzema (December 19, 1987, Lyon, France) by reading his biography.

A brief biography of Karim Benzema

The index

  • French football’s beginnings

  • Real Madrid’s early years with Karim Benzema

  • The consecration of “El Gato” after 4 Champions in 5 Years!

French football’s beginnings

Karim is a native of the Rhône-Alpes region. After watching him play a junior game, two scouts from Lyon, a Ligue 1 team, approached his father with an offer to enlist in the club’s youth program. He moved to the city the following year and, at just 17 years old, was promoted to the first team after 8 seasons.

Due to his young age and the high level of competition in Lyon’s squad, Benzema’s first two seasons were dull to gray. Only in 2007 did he begin playing more regularly in a club that dominated the domestic championship, which he won for the third time in a row that year.

In the 2008-2009 season, “El Gato” was the top scorer in a Ligue 1 that the team won once again, and he was also selected as the season’s best player. The player’s performance did not go unnoticed, and many clubs from other leagues became interested in him.


In 2004, Karim told his teammates “Don’t laugh! I came to take your place.” when he was introduced in the Lyon dressing room.

Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez returns to the transfer market in summer 2009 with the aim of building a winning team. Due to the lack of quality troops in that demarcation, Karim, 22 years old, signed for the team from the Spanish capital. Along with Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo, he would be one of three “galactics” who joined the team that season.

Real Madrid’s early years with Karim Benzema

Karim’s first two years at Real Madrid were gray, largely due to their main rival, FC Barcelona, dominating the Spanish Football First Division tournament, which they would win for the third time in a row in 2011. The Frenchman was also criticized by many Real Madrid fans for not being the right striker for his team.

During the 2011-2012 season, the second for Portuguese coach José Mourinho, Karim received more stripes and became the starting forward of the team that won La Liga with 100 points and over 120 goals. This is a competition record.

In contrast, Benzema’s numbers during the following season were the worst since his arrival at Real Madrid. During that year, they lost La Liga and were more than 15 points behind FC Barcelona, which was regaining the Spanish throne.

The consecration of “El Gato” after 4 Champions in 5 Years!

Carlo Ancelotti took over Mourinho’s position as coach during the 2013-2014 season. Benzema recovers his usual level of performance, especially in the UEFA Champions League, where he made a significant contribution to the team’s championship.

The Meringue fans, however, found it hard to cope with Barcelona’s dominance in La Liga, which they constantly blamed on Benzema as a reason for the poor performances of their team. Many Madrid fans demanded a transfer after the Catalans won all the titles in 2015.

In the following seasons, Benzema would continue to forge a legend at the club in the Champions League. He showed an excellent level in a competition that Real Madrid won three consecutive times (2016, 2017 and 2018), and this was the first time since 1992 that a team had succeeded in revalidating the title.

It was Benzema’s goal in the semifinals that allowed the team to qualify for the final in 2018. He earned the respect of the fans by performing well against Bayern Munich or Atlético de Madrid.

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