Karim Mostafa Benzema (born 19 December 1987) is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for and captains La Liga club Real Madrid.
Early Life and Career of Karim Benzema
Karim Mostafa Benzema was born to his parents Wahida Djebbara and Hafid Benzema. His mother is a homemaker and his father is a businessman. Benzema has eight siblings, including five sisters named Nafissa, Laeticia, Lydia, Sofia, and Celia Benzema, and three brothers named Grassy Benzema, Sabri Benzema, and Farid Benzema.
Move to Real Madrid and Achievements
Karim Benzema was born in Lyon, France, and began his football career with Bron Terraillon, a local club. He later joined Olympique Lyonnais in 1996 and 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 during that period. In the 2007-08 season, Benzema became a regular starter and had a breakthrough year, scoring over 30 goals as Lyon won its seventh straight league title.
International Career of Karim Benzema
His performances earned him the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and a spot on the organization’s Team of the Year. Benzema was also the top scorer in the league and was given the Bravo Award by the Italian magazine Guerin Sportivo. Benzema made his league debut for Real Madrid on 29 August 2009 against Deportivo La Coruña.
He was substituted in the second half of the game, which Real Madrid won 3-2. A month later, Benzema scored his first goal for the club in a 5-0 victory against Xerez. He scored his first double for Real Madrid in a 3-0 home victory against Tenerife. In July 2009, Benzema moved to Real Madrid in a transfer worth over EUR35 million ($50 million) and signed a six-year contract.
Although he struggled to establish himself in his debut season with the club, in the following two seasons, he became a prominent figure, scoring 32 goals and 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.
On 1 July 2009, Olympique Lyonnais announced that they had reached an agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Benzema to the Spanish club. The transfer fee was set at €35 million with the potential to rise up to €41 million with additional incentives.
Benzema passed his medical on 9 July and signed a six-year contract with the club later that day. He was officially presented as a Real Madrid player on the same day at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, alongside other new signings Kaká and Cristiano Ronaldo. Karim Benzema has represented France in football from the under-17 level onwards and is a former French youth international.
He played on the under-17 team that won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship before moving on to the senior team. He made his senior international debut in March 2007 in a friendly match against Austria, scoring the only goal of the game.
Benzema has earned over 80 caps for his country and has represented France at three major international tournaments: the 2008 and 2012 editions of the UEFA European Championship and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Personal Life of Karim Benzema
Cora Gauthier is a well-known Martinican businesswoman, fashion blogger, Instagram star, and French model. She is married to the French football star Karim Benzema, and the couple is admired by many. They first met in Dubai in December 2015 and began dating shortly after. Cora then moved to Madrid with Karim and has been a major supporter of his private life.