Things to Know:
A skillful, quick, agile, and prolific forward, who is good in the air, Benzema has been described as an “immensely talented striker” who is “strong and powerful” and “a potent finisher from inside the box” with both feet, despite being naturally right footed. An atypical number 9, although he is usually deployed as a centre-forward, Benzema is also capable of playing in several other offensive positions, and has been used on the wing, or even behind the main striker. 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 as a number 10, or use his strength and technical ability to hold up the ball to provide assists for teammates, courtesy of his vision, creativity, passing, and eye for the final ball. He has also been praised for his work-rate and tactical intelligence off the ball, as well as his 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.
Did you Know?
Karim Mostafa Benzema is a French professional footballer who plays for France national team as a striker. 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 the biggest club in the city, Olympique Lyonnais, and subsequently came through the club’s youth academy. Benzema made his professional debut in the 2004–05 season and 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 twice been intentionally left off major tournament squads (2010 World Cup and Euro 2016) due to various scandals.
Did you Know?
On 1 July 2009, it was announced that Lyon had reached an agreement with Spanish club Real Madrid 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 his medical and signed his contract, a six-year deal, later that afternoon. He 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. Real Madrid’s attacking trio of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano, dubbed “BBC”, finished the season with 97 goals.