Karim Benzema has been one of the best strikers in the world since he was signed by Real Madrid in 2009. The French striker has been an invaluable part of the club’s success, helping to lead Real Madrid to Champions League trophies and La Liga titles in both 2013 and 2016. He also helped France to victory at the 2018 World Cup and was named to the World Cup All-Star Team after scoring three goals during the tournament, including one against Croatia in the final.


Birth & Childhood

Born in France to Algerian parents, Karim Benzema was raised in a tough neighborhood outside Lyon, and began playing soccer at age five. He had a rough childhood—his parents divorced when he was young, and he didn’t speak with his father until recently. His younger brother got involved with gangs, which made it hard for him to stay out of trouble. From an early age, he had a talent for soccer; one day his friend asked him to play on his team instead of watching from behind a tree (as kids often do), and he scored eight goals in his first game.


How He Got Started

In September 2009, after playing for various youth academies across France and being overlooked by a number of French professional clubs, Benzema signed with Lyon. In January 2010, he made his debut in a league match against Stade Rennais F.C., coming on as a substitute for Lisandro López in the 75th minute. Four minutes later, he scored his first goal for Lyon in their 3–1 win over FC Istres.


Early Career

Born in Lyon, France, Benzema began his career with hometown club Olympique Lyonnais. His prolific scoring record in France led to a move to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. In Spain, he has been a consistent scorer and has won two UEFA Champions League titles. Over his 10-year career, he has racked up 56 goals in 113 matches for France’s national team. An athletic forward with impressive speed and balance, few strikers can boast matching his combination of skill and strength.


Current Career

Forward for Real Madrid. Previously played for Lyon and Le Havre. At international level, he represented France at three major tournaments: World Cup 2010, Euro 2012 and Euro 2016. In 2011, France Football named him as one of its Golden Stars (Meilleurs joueurs), a list which features 50 of Europe’s best footballers born after 1986. He was also included in FIFA 100, a list of 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé as part of FIFA’s centenary celebrations. In 2015, French magazine Onze Mondial listed him among their Golden Ball Winners (joueurs les plus performants).


What Makes Him Great?

His international record is impressive, but his club career is even more impressive. In fact, he is in an elite group of five soccer players who have scored 100 or more goals for their respective clubs. Who are these players? They include: Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), César Delgado (Boca Juniors and Argentina), Alfredo Di Stéfano (Real Madrid and Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United and Portugal) —and Karim Benzema (Real Madrid). He’s known to be a great finisher and has won a number of awards, including three Ligue 1 player-of-the-year awards.


Personal Life

Karim Benzema is a professional soccer player who was born in Lyon, France. He plays as a striker for French club team Real Madrid and for his national team, France. He’s been playing professionally since 2001 when he started his career with Olympique Lyonnais. Since then, he’s played with many teams including; AS Monaco FC, Real Madrid CF, and back to Lyon once again. With all that success and experience under his belt you might think that he doesn’t have time for anything else in life outside of soccer but you would be wrong.


Ways to Get Involved (What Skills, Talents, or Abilities Do You Need?)

Being a good team player is just as important as knowing how to dribble, pass, and shoot. Great soccer players know how to read their teammates’ movements and react accordingly. For example, if a midfielder is under pressure while running toward you with the ball, you should position yourself so that you make it easy for your teammate to pass it on to you. If your teammate has already begun passing or shooting before he notices an open spot on your side of the field, let him know by calling out to him. A good team-player will not only be able to read his teammates’ movements but also read his opponents’ so that he can anticipate where he needs to be on field at any given time during a game.


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