Karim Mostafa Benzema (born 19 December 1987) is a French professional footballer. He plays as a striker for and captains La Liga club Real Madrid, and the France national team.
A creative and prolific forward, Benzema is often regarded as one of the best strikers of all time. He is Real Madrid’s all-time second-highest goals corer and top assist provider.
Benzema has won 23 trophies with Real Madrid, including four La Liga, two Copa del Rey and five UEFA Champions League titles.
Born in Lyon to Algerian parents, Benzema began his career with hometown club Olympique Lyonnais in 2005. Contributing sporadically to three Ligue 1 title wins.
In 2008, he was named the league’s Player of the Year and in the Team of the Year having finished as the league’s top goal scorer. And winning his fourth league title and first Coupe de France.
In 2009, Benzema was the subject of a then-French record football transfer. When he joined Real Madrid in a deal worth €35 million.
After struggling to establish himself in his debut season; He eventually achieved a consistent goalscoring rate with the club. Notably being part of a highly rated trio alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Gareth Bale — dubbed BBC — who were integral to four Champions League wins from 2014 to 2018. Following Ronaldo’s departure in 2018, Benzema transitioned from the false 9 position, into a sole striker.
He was named in the La Liga Team of the Season for four consecutive years from 2018 to 2022. Won La Liga Best Player twice and the Pichichi Trophy for the first time in 2022.
Ballon d’Or UEFA Player of the Year
Benzema finished as Champions League top scorer as he won his fifth title in 2022. For his performances, Benzema was awarded the UEFA Player of the Year. And the Ballon d’Or, becoming the fifth French player.
And second of Arab descent (after Zinedine Zidane) to have won the Ballon d’Or. A French international, Benzema won the 2004 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.
And made his senior debut for France in 2007, at age 19. He has since earned over 95 caps, including scoring in three.
Four Major Tournaments
And appearing in four major tournaments, and ranks as France’s fifth-highest all-time top goal scorer. Benzema was controversially left out of the squad for the 2010 World Cup.
And did not play for France for over five years after being implicated in a blackmailing scandal in 2015; he since returned to the squad.
He has been named French Player of the Year by France Football four times.
Ronaldo’s influence on early career
“When I was younger, the way Ronaldo played had an influence on me. For me, he’s the best striker of all-time. I watch videos of him, and try to do what he does, but it’s not easy.
It’s impossible to pull off the same moves as he did.” —Benzema on the influence of his idol, Brazilian striker Ronaldo, on his own career.
Benzema began his football career at his hometown club Bron Terraillon SC at the age of eight. While at the club, he was nicknamed Coco by friends and;
Subsequent to under 10 match
After scoring two goals in an under-10 match against the Lyon youth academy; began attracting attention from the biggest club in the city.
According to Serge Santa Cruz, who was president of Bron Terraillon in the 1990s; Lyon officials had visited him directly in an attempt to sign the youngster.
However, Santa Cruz refused. After talking with Benzema’s father, the club allowed the player to undergo a trial with Lyon. Following the trial, Benzema officially joined Lyon and was inserted into the club’s academy.
Ascension to youth categories
Benzema quickly ascended up the youth categories in the academy. He served as a ball boy during Lyon senior team matches. And performed well in school being described as a student who was “discreet and respectful”.
At under-16 level, Benzema scored 38 goals in the Champions at National des 16 ans. The domestic league for under-16 youth players in France.
Ahead of the 2004–05 season, Benzema was promoted to the club’s reserve team, which was playing in the Champions; at de France amateur, the fourth division of French football.
Team high of team goals
Despite only playing with the team during the autumn campaign, he scored a team-high ten goals as the Lyon reserve team finished second in its group.
Benzema was called up to the senior team for the first time under manager Paul Le Guen during the break. Leading up to the second half of the season.
As is customary with new players arriving at Lyon, the young striker had to stand up. And speak to his new team mates.
New team mates at Lyon
Which at that time included the likes of Michael Essien, Sylvain Wiltord, Florent Malouda and Eric Abidal. While speaking, Benzema was subjected to jokes.
And laughter, which prompted the youngster to declare, “Do not laugh, I’m here to take your place.” He made his professional debut on 15 January 2005.
Against Metz, appearing as a substitute for Pierre-Alain Frau. Lyon won the match 2–0 as Benzema provided the assist of the second goal scored by Bryan Bergougnoux.
First professional contract
He signed his first professional contract the same month, agreeing to a three-year deal. After making three more appearances as a substitute.
On 2 April Benzema made his first professional start in a 1–0 win over Lens. He finished the campaign with six appearances as Lyon won their fourth-straight league title.
Benzema began the 2005–06 season under the tutelage of new manager Gérard Houllier. Under Houllier, he struggled for meaningful minutes.
October 2, 2005
Due to the presence of newly signed Brazilian striker Fred, as well as Sylvain Wiltord. Benzema made his season debut on 2 October 2005;
In a league win over Rennes, appearing as a substitute. On 6 December, he made his UEFA Champions League debut in Lyon’s final group stage match against Norwegian club Rosenborg.
On his competition debut, he scored his first professional goal in a 2–1 win. A month later, Benzema scored his first professional double in a 4–0 win over Grenoble.
March 4, 2006
in the Coupe de France. On 4 March 2006, Benzema scored his first professional league goal against Ajaccio in a 3–1 win.
Benzema began earning more playing time in the 2006–07 season and made his competitive season debut in the 2006. Trophée des Champions against Paris Saint-Germain.
In the French Super cup, Benzema converted a penalty which drew the match at 1–1. Lyon later won the league curtain-raiser 5–4 on penalties.
August 26, 2006
Benzema opened the league campaign on a quick note scoring in the team’s first match of the season against Nantes.
Three weeks later, on 26 August 2006, Benzema appeared as a substitute and scored two goals in a 4–1 away win over Nice.
He also converted two goals in the Champions League group stage against Romanian outfit Steaua București and Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv.
November 10, 2006
After appearing regularly during the autumn campaign, on 10 November, Benzema suffered a severe thigh injury. The injury resulted in the striker missing three months of action, before returning in February 2007.
Benzema failed to score a goal until the final league match of the season against Nantes as Lyon recorded its sixth consecutive league title.
For the 2007–08 season, with Florent Malouda, John Carew and Sylvain Wiltord. All departing from the club, Benzema switched to the number 10 shirt. And was inserted into the lead striker role.
31 goals in 51 games
After forming a special relationship with new manager Alain Perrin, he responded with 31 goals in 51 games. He topped the league with 20 goals. Scored four goals in the 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.
Some of his more dazzling performances that season included a hat-trick. Against Metz on 15 September, an equalizing goal in the 90th minute.
Free kick against Derby du Rhône
From a free kick against Derby du Rhône rivals Saint-Étienne. And a goal against Lens that was nominated for goal of the season by fans.
In the Champions League, Benzema scored an important double against Rangers at Ibrox Stadium on the last match day of the group stage.
The 3–0 victory assured Lyon progression to the knockout rounds. In the knockout rounds, Lyon faced Manchester United.
Comparison with Zinedine Zidane
And Benzema continued to score, this time it was from outside the penalty box 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 Sir Alex Ferguson and players praised Benzema for his performance.
Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas later accused Ferguson of tapping-up Benzema. B”It’s a compliment to be compared to Zinedine Zidane, but we are different players.”
March 13, 2008
On 13 March 2008, Benzema extended his contract with Lyon until 2013 with a one-year extension option. After signing his new contract, Benzema became one of the highest paid footballers in France.
For his efforts that season, he was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year. Selected to the Team of the Year and awarded the Trophée du Meilleur Buteur; for being the league’s top scorer.
He won the 2008 Bravo Award given to the most outstanding young footballer. Playing in Europe, and was also shortlisted by French magazine France Football for the 2008 Ballon d’Or award. Eventually won by Cristiano Ronaldo.
2008 – 2009 Season
Benzema got off to a good start for the 2008–09 season, scoring twice in Lyon’s opening league match against Toulouse.
The following three weeks, he scored goals against Rhône-Alpes rivals Grenoble. And Saint-Étienne and scored a goal against Nice, converting a penalty in the dying seconds.
Lyon won all three matches. As a result of his early goals, Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas quelled the many transfer rumors. Surrounding Benzema by placing a €100 million price tag on the striker.
He was also nominated alongside Franck Ribéry to be featured on the French cover of the video game FIFA 09. He scored his seventh goal of the league on 29 October.
Scoring in the 2–0 win over Sochaux. Benzema scored again the following weekend in a 2–0 win over Le Mans.
He was among the top scorers in the Champions League group stage. Scoring five goals. A double against Steaua București.
11th goal of the season against Nice
Two goals in two matches against Fiorentina, and a goal against the eventual group winners Bayern Munich on the final match day.
Following the winter break, Benzema endured a rough patch going scoreless the first three games. Before recording his 11th goal of the season against Nice in a 3–1 victory.
Two weeks later, he scored his 12th goal against Nancy in a 2–0 victory. The next nine matches, both Benzema and Lyon’s form dwindled losing four matches; drawing three.
3-1 Victory against Le Mans
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 his 15th and 16th goals of the season. On 17 May in a 3–1 away victory over rivals Marseille.
Another 3 -1 victory against Caen
The first goal being a penalty. He scored his 17th goal the following weekend against Caen in a 3–1 victory moving him into third place among Ligue 1 top scorers.
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.
Six year deal
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. Benzema made his Real Madrid debut on 20 July in the club’s opening pre-season.
Friendly against Irish club Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, appearing as a half-time substitute. He scored the lone goal in the club’s 1–0 win, scoring in the 87th minute.
Two goals in Real Madrid’s 4 – 0 victory
On 24 August, Benzema netted two goals in Real Madrid’s 4–0 victory. Over Norwegian club Rosenborg in an annual friendly tournament organized for the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy.
The goals brought his total tally in the pre-season with Real Madrid to five. Making him the joint top scorer alongside fellow striker Raúl.
Benzema made his league debut for Madrid on 29 August 2009. Against Deportivo La Coruña. He started the match, but was substituted out in the second half, as Madrid won 3–2.
First goal for Real Madrid
A month later, he scored his first goal for the club in a 5–0 victory, against newly promoted Xerez. After missing the mid-week match against Villarreal.
Against Tenerife at the weekend, Benzema scored his first double for Madrid in a 3–0 home victory. He made his Champions League debut for the club on 30 September, in a group stage tie against Marseille.
After failing to score a goal in the month of October, in the team’s first match in November. Against Italian club Milan in the Champions League.
Madrid’s 1 – 0 lead
Benzema scored the opener to give Madrid a 1–0 lead. His goal was later cancelled out by a Ronaldinho penalty.
In late November, Benzema began appearing mainly as a substitute. As manager Manuel Pellegrini preferred Gonzalo Higuaín in the lead striker role.
To coincide with his benching, the striker was also being criticized by the Spanish media for his under-performance and difficulties settling in the country.
As he had not yet begun learning the Spanish language. He was even declared the “new Anelka” by a Spanish newspaper Marca blogger. Rreferring to former Real Madrid striker Nicolas Anelka;
Who had a tumultuous year at the club before being sold. Benzema was defended by his compatriot Zinedine Zidane.
Who admitted “after two months, I was also criticized” and that Benzema was “a talented player and talented players in Madrid must win”.
Substitute for Rafael van der Vaart
On 5 December, Benzema appeared as a substitute for Rafael van der Vaart. And scored the third goal in a 6–0 romp of Almería.
The day after the match against Almería, Benzema responded to the criticism by stating; “I am totally integrated and very happy at Real Madrid”. And “Yes, I have improved my adaptation.
I have a new home and I’m learning Spanish to understand myself better with my teammates.” After nearly a month coming off of the bench. He started alongside Higuaín away to Valencia on 12 December.
A week later, Benzema returned to the bench. Following an injury to Higuaín in early January 2010; Pellegrini inserted Benzema back into the starting lineup.
After failing to score in his first two starts in the absence of Higuaín, against Deportivo La Coruña on 30 January; he scored a double in an important 3–1 away win.
Following the return of Higuaín, Benzema was relegated back to a substitute’s role. And finished the campaign by making eight consecutive appearances off the bench.
5 – 1 Win against Athletic Bilbao
Included in one of those appearances was his final goal of the season against Athletic Bilbao in a 5–1 win. Ahead of the 2010–11 season, Benzema switched to the number 9 shirt.
As Real Madrid were under the tutelage of new incoming manager José Mourinho. The striker immediately drew the ire of Mourinho.
Who declared to reporters during a pre-season media session that “Benzema must understand that he is extremely talented.
Ire of Mourinho
But that in itself is not enough”, while also stating that “[Madrid] need a striker who is sparky, not one that is listless”.
Mourinho sentiments were later echoed by incoming France national team coach Laurent Blanc who acknowledged that Benzema was “not used to working”.
Blanc also stated that the striker needed to shed weight in order to fulfill his potential. Due to Mourinho preferring Ronaldo and Higuaín as his forwards;
Coming off the bench
Benzema began the campaign as a substitute coming off the bench, in the team’s opening league match of the season against Mallorca.
Following the September international break, he made his first start in a 1–0 win over Osasuna. On 21 September, Benzema made a substitute appearance.
And scored his first goal of the season in a 3–0 home win against Espanyol. Afterwards, the striker failed to score a domestic goal for nearly two months.
Real Murcia 2010 – 11 edition
On 10 November, Benzema scored his second goal of the campaign. Against Real Murcia in the 2010–11 edition of the Copa del Rey.
In late November, Benzema was inserted into the starting eleven, following a severe back injury to Higuaín. Along with the team’s lack of senior strikers.
In his first match since being inserted into the starting lineup permanently, he scored his first Champions League goal of the season.
Group stage fixture
In a group stage fixture against Dutch club Ajax. In Madrid’s final group stage tie against French outfit Auxerre; Benzema scored his first hat trick for the club in a 4–0 win.
The first goal he scored was Real Madrid’s 300th goal; in the Champions League era. Two weeks later, Benzema converted another hat trick. This time in an 8–0 thrashing of Levante in the Copa del Rey.
In late January, for the first time in his Real Madrid career, Benzema scored goals in back-to-back matches. On 23 January, he scored the only goal in a 1–0 win at home against Mallorca.
Only goal to win over Sevilla
Three days later, Benzema repeated his efforts scoring the only goal in a win over Sevilla. In the first leg of the team’s Copa del Rey semi-final tie.
Real Madrid later advanced to its 37th Copa del Rey final in club history; After beating Sevilla 2–0 in the second leg. Following the arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor on loan.
Benzema went unused in two consecutive league matches in February 2011. He returned to the starting lineup on 19 February; and embarked on a run in which he scored ten goals in eight matches.
Ten goals, three straight matches
Included in those ten goals were doubles in three straight matches against Málaga. Racing de Santander and Hércules; as well as a goal in the first leg of Madrid’s Round of 16 tie, against former club Lyon.
The strike against his hometown club was the 100th goal of his professional career. And also the first goal for Real Madrid at the Stade de Gerland in six years.
Though despite the honors associated with netting the goal, Benzema did not celebrate out of respect for his former club.
Opener in the El Derbi madrileño
On 19 March, he scored the opener in the El Derbi madrileño as Real Madrid went on to win the match 2–1. Despite his form; Benzema appeared in only one of the four highly anticipated matches against El Clásico rivals Barcelona.
In which the two clubs met in the league, the 2011 Copa del Rey Final and the Champions League knockout stage. In between those clashes, on 23 April 2011; Benzema scored a goal in a 6–3 win over Valencia.
On 30 April, he scored a goal in the team’s 3–2 loss to Real Zaragoza. It was the only match of the campaign that Real Madrid loss, in which Benzema scored.
Double in an 8–1 win over Almería
To close out the campaign, Benzema scored another double in an 8–1 win over Almería. He finished the campaign second on the team behind Ronaldo.
With 26 goals as Real Madrid captured the Copa del Rey giving Benzema his first honour with the club. For his performances during the campaign.
Particularly during the second half, Benzema was praised by Mourinho, club officials Florentino Pérez and Emilio Butragueño. As well as national team manager Laurent Blanc.
Prior to the start of the 2011–12 season, Benzema, taking the advice of compatriots Blanc and Zidane; ventured to Merano, Italy, to attend a high performance clinic. Where he underwent treatment to reduce his weight.
The spell at the clinic was ultimately a success after the striker arrived at pre-season 8 kilograms (18 lb) lighter. While at the clinic, Benzema also underwent physical training. To build up his muscle mass.
The striker was impressive in the pre-season scoring eight goals in seven matches. His performances during the pre-season resulted in Mourinho naming him the starting lead striker; for the new campaign.
Mourinho credited with Benzema’s transformation
Mourinho was later credited with Benzema’s transformation. But denied full responsibility and, instead, gave credit to the striker himself.
In the second leg of the 2011 Supercopa de España against Barcelona; and with Madrid trailing 4–3 on aggregate late in the match; Benzema scored the equalizing goal to even the tie at 4–4.
However, six minutes later, a Lionel Messi strike gave Barcelona the supercup. In the team’s second league match of the season against Getafe, Benzema scored a double in a 4–2 victory.
Scoreless in three consecutive league matches
After going scoreless in three consecutive league matches, he scored his third league goal of the campaign against Rayo Vallecano in a 4–2 win.
In the team’s ensuing match against Ajax in the Champions League; Benzema scored Madrid’s third goal in a 3–0 home win.
In the club’s next Champions League match against Lyon, Benzema scored again by netting the opener in a 4–0 win against Lyon.
Full credit for transformation
“Benzema deserves full credit for his transformation. He had some help from me, from his teammates and from Zizou, but he deserves the credit.”
In November 2011, Benzema scored five goals; three in the league and two in Europe. In the league, he converted his three goals in wins over Osasuna and Valencia.
While he scored his two Champions League goals in a 6–2 group stage win over Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. On 10 December 2011, Benzema scored the opener in Madrid’s 3–1 defeat; to Barcelona in the El Clásico.
21 seconds into the match
The goal, scored just 21 seconds into the match, was the fastest goal ever scored in a match between the two rivals. Three days after his record-breaking goal, for his performances during the 2011 calendar year;
Benzema was named the France Football French Player of the Year, beating out Barcelona defender Eric Abidal and Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
He became only the second French player based in Spain to win the award. And also the second Real Madrid player to capture it. Zidane was the first to achieve both honorable mentions.
France player of the year
Benzema expressed gratitude at winning the award, stating, “It is a pleasure to win an individual trophy. When I see the previous winners – Zidane, Henry and other major players – it makes me proud to join them on the list.”
In the team’s next match after winning the award, against Sevilla, Benzema assisted two goals in a 6–2 triumph. Benzema opened the 2012 portion of the campaign in positive form.
He scored goals against Granada and Málaga. Benzema scored against the latter club in the Copa del Rey in each leg of the Round of 16. The 4–2 aggregate win advanced Real Madrid to the quarter-finals where the club faced Barcelona.
25 January 2012
After failing to score in the first leg, which ended 2–1 in favour of Barça, in the second leg on 25 January 2012, Benzema scored his third goal of the season against the Blaugrana.
But Madrid failed to win the tie losing 4–3 on aggregate. On 12 February, Benzema scored his first league goal in over a month against Levante.
A week later, he scored a double in a 4–0 shutout of Racing Santander. On 24 March, Benzema scored two goals in a league win over Real Sociedad.
Top French scorer in La Liga history
The two goals made him the top French scorer in La Liga history surpassing Zidane. Three days later, Benzema scored another double in a 3–0 first leg. Away win over Cypriot club APOEL in the Champions League quarter-finals.
On 29 April, Benzema put in a masterful performance scoring two goals. And assisting another in a 3–0 win over Sevilla. The double was his seventh of the season. And allowed Madrid to close in on its first Primera Division title in four years.
Los Blancos captured their 32nd league title the following week cruising to a 3–0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Benzema appeared as a second-half substitute in the match.
An equalizer against Manchester City in 3–2 win
On the first matchday of the Champions League, Benzema scored an equalizer against Manchester City in 3–2 win; at Santiago Bernabéu.
On 4 October 2012, Benzema scored a bicycle kick goal off a cross by Kaká in a 4–1 win. Against Ajax in Amsterdam. On 18 December, one day before his 25th birthday;
His fine form saw him earn the award for best French footballer of 2012, for the second year running. On 2 March 2013, Benzema opened the scoring against Barcelona in the league game at the Santiago Bernabéu.
2013 – 2014 Season
Real went on to win the game 2–1, the second time they beat Barcelona in a week. Ahead of the 2013–14 season. Benzema became part of a trio alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and newly signed Gareth Bale — dubbed BBC.
Benzema started the season by scoring in a 2–1 win over Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabéu. After four matches without scoring (two with Real Madrid and two with France).
He returned to goal-scoring form by netting twice in a 6–1 away win over Galatasaray; in Champions League. On 18 January 2014, he scored his 100th goal for Madrid in a 5–0 victory at Real Betis.
Fierce rivals Barcelona in El Clásico
On 23 March, Benzema scored two goals against fierce rivals Barcelona in El Clásico. At the Bernabéu from two crosses by Ángel Di María, taking his goal tally in La Liga to 17 goals, though Barcelona won the match 4–3.
Benzema was part of Real Madrid’s starting eleven in the 2014 Copa del Rey Final. On 16 April at the Mestalla Stadium, and assisted Di María’s opening goal; before Gareth Bale hit the winner for Madrid in a 2–1 victory.
One week later, on 23 April, Benzema scored the only goal of the game to win the first leg of a Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich, 1–0.
Real Madrid’s attacking trio
The club went on to win the final in May. Real Madrid’s attacking trio of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano, dubbed “BBC”, finished the season with 97 goals.
On 6 August 2014, Real Madrid announced that Benzema had signed a new five-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2019. On 12 August 2014, Benzema played the whole 90 minutes;
In Real Madrid’s 2–0 win against Sevilla in Cardiff to claim the UEFA Super Cup. On 16 September, Benzema scored Real Madrid’s 1,000th goal in European competition.
5–1 victory over FC Basel
After netting a goal in a 5–1 victory over FC Basel in the first match of the Champions League group stage. He scored the winning goal in Real Madrid’s 2–1 away victory;
Against Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League after coming on as a second-half substitute. The next weekend, he scored a brace in the 5–0 victory against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
In 2014, Benzema won France Football’s award for French Player of the Year for the third time; only Thierry Henry has won this award on more occasions.
La Liga Player of the Month
Benzema was chosen as La Liga Player of the Month for October 2014; with his manager Carlo Ancelotti winning the equivalent award.
He scored three of Real Madrid’s 13 goals of the month, in which they won three matches and only conceded just one goal. On 8 December 2015, Benzema scored a hat trick in an 8–0 thrashing against Malmö FF.
On 20 December, he scored another hat trick in a 10–2 victory over Rayo Vallecano. He was a regular starter when the team won the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League.
In December 2016, Benzema was called up in Real Madrid’s squad for 2016 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. In the semi-final match against América on 15 December;
Benzema scored in the last moments of the first half, helping the team to progress in the final by winning 2–0. In the final three days later against Kashima Antlers;
Benzema opened the score in the 9th minute, and also assisted Ronaldo’s second goal, as Real Madrid won 4–2 in extra time after the regular time finished 2–2 to claim their second title.
Benzema’s tenth title
It was Benzema’s tenth title with Real Madrid; and finished the competition as joint-second top scorer with two goals in two matches.
On 15 February 2017, in the first leg of 2016–17 UEFA Champions League round of 16 against Napoli; Benzema scored Real Madrid’s first goal in an eventual 3–1 home win.
Which was his 51st goal in this competition, overtaking Thierry Henry on the list of all-time Champions League top scorers.
First goal in six matches
It was his first goal in six matches and for this performance h2017–18 UEFA Champions League e was voted Man of the Match. He was a regular starter, and scored the last goal of the season.
Which gave him eleven for the campaign, when Madrid won the 2016–17 La Liga and the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League.
On 20 September 2017, Benzema signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2021. Later on 6 March of the following year, Benzema made his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance.
2017–18 UEFA Champions League
By playing in the 2–1 win at Parc des Princes. Against Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of 2017–18 UEFA Champions League round of 16; as Real Madrid progressed to the next round 5–2 on aggregate.
Benzema played his 400th match in all competitions for Real Madrid on 31 March in the 3–0 win at Las Palmas. Captaining the team and netting the second goal with a penalty.
On 1 May, Benzema scored twice in a 2–2 draw. Against Bayern Munich in the return leg of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League semi-final. As Real progressed to the final on a 4–3 aggregate.
3–1 victory over Liverpool
On 26 May, Benzema scored the first goal of the match in 2018 UEFA Champions League Final. By intercepting Loris Karius’s throw in a 3–1 victory over Liverpool. When Madrid won their third consecutive and 13th overall Champions League title.
With the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in July 2018; Benzema became Real Madrid’s new goal-getter – scoring 30 goals in all competitions in 2018–19. As the club’s top scorer for the campaign.
His prominence in Real Madrid’s squad significantly increased. On 7 November 2018, Benzema scored a brace in the 5–0 win at Viktoria Plzeň in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
200th goal milestone
Reaching the 200th goal milestone with the club, becoming only the seventh Madrid player to achieve the feat. He scored three goals in six matches, all of them against Plzeň; helping Real Madrid topping Group G.
Later on 13 February of the following year, in the first leg of the competition’s round of 16; Benzema scored the opener of a 2–1 away win over Ajax, reaching 60 Champions League goals. Becoming only the fourth player to do so.
Benzema scored Madrid’s first competitive goal of the 2019–20 season; on 17 August in the 3–1 away win over Celta Vigo in the opening La Liga match.
Madrid’s 6–0 crushing of Galatasaray
Later, on 6 November, he scored a brace in Madrid’s 6–0 crushing of Galatasaray. Achieving two new milestones: he become the second player after Lionel Messi to score in 15 consecutive Champions League seasons;
And also the third Madrid player to score 50 goals in the competition. His performances were praised by manager Zinedine Zidane. Who called him a legend and also compared him with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Three days later, in the next league match, he scored a first-half brace in a 4–0 win at Eibar. Overtaking Ferenc Puskás as the club’s sixth all-time goal scorer in La Liga; with 157 goals from 323 appearances.
In February 2020, Benzema extended his contract with Real Madrid until 2022. On 1 March, he made his 500th appearance for Real Madrid in a 2–0 home win over Barcelona in El Clásico.
Becoming the fourteenth player in the club’s history to achieve this milestone. At the end of the season, Real Madrid won the 2019–20 La Liga, while scoring over 20 goals.
Benzema getting interviewed after Real Madrid’s first away game after the COVID-19 quarantine. Against Real Sociedad
When La Liga restarted.
COVID 19 Pandemic
After a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Benzema scored a brace against Valencia in Real Madrid’s second game back at the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium.
On 18 June – his first goals at Madrid’s new temporary home ground. Benzema’s brace saw him surpass Ferenc Puskás as Real Madrid’s fourth All-Time Top Scorer with 304 goals.
On 16 July, Benzema’s brace against Villarreal secured Real Madrid’s 34th La Liga title. After a 2–1 win at the Di Stefano – their 10th consecutive league win after the lockdown.
Madrid’s only goal at the Etihad
On 7 August, Benzema scored Madrid’s only goal at the Etihad; as they went crashing out of the Champions League to Manchester City (2–4 on aggregate) to end the campaign.
For the second consecutive season, Benzema finished as the club’s top scorer with 27 goals in all competitions. Benzema opened his goal account for 2020–21 on 4 October.
Away to Levante in La Liga, netting his 250th goal for Real Madrid in all competitions. On 27 October, he scored an acrobatic over-the-head goal in a 2–2 draw.
Second player in history after Lionel Messi
Against Borussia Mönchengladbach at Borussia-Park in the Champions League. To become the second player in history after Lionel Messi to score in 16 consecutive Champions League seasons.
On 9 December, he scored a brace in a 2–0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach to send Real Madrid to the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.
On 21 April, Benzema scored a brace and assisted another in a 3–0. Away win at Cádiz, which meant he scored against all 35 teams he has played against in La Liga.
Departure of Sergio Ramos to PSG
With the departure of Sergio Ramos to PSG; Benzema was promoted as Real Madrid’s vice-captain for the 2021–22 season under Ancelotti.
On 14 August, Benzema scored a brace against Alaves as Los Blancos kicked off the league season. With a 1–4 away win to sit at the top of the table.
Benzema’s first half volley was the first official goal under Ancelotti in his second stint. Six days later, Benzema signed a contract extension with Real Madrid, keeping him at the club until 2023.
First hat-trick in three seasons
Benzema scored his first hat-trick in three seasons in a 5–2 win over Celta Vigo on 12 September. As Madrid returned to the Bernabeu for the first time since March 2020.
Wearing the armband, Benzema was the first Madrid captain to score a hat-trick since Raul in 2008. One week later, Benzema and Vini Jr would combine twice in the last few minutes.
Against Valencia at the Mestalla to complete a comeback to earn Madrid their first win, at the Mestalla in four seasons. On 22 September, Benzema scored a brace and provided another two assists in a 6–1 win over Mallorca.
Fourth Madrid player in history
At the Bernabeu. Benzema’s brace allowed him to become only the fourth Madrid player in history to score 200 La Liga goals after Di Stefano. Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo.
On 28 September, Benzema became the first the player in history to score in 17 consecutive Champions League seasons. After scoring his first penalty in the competition in a 1–2 home loss against Sheriff in the group stage.
On 22 October, Benzema scored Madrid’s 1000th Champions League goal at the Bernabéu. Against Shakhtar Donetsk. In the process, Benzema scored his 291st and 292nd goals for the club.
Fourth highest all-time top scorer
Making him their fourth highest all-time top scorer, overtaking Santillana. With his goal against Sevilla in La Liga on 28 November. He became the highest French goal scorer in club football matches. oOertaking Thierry Henry.
On 8 January, Benzema scored his 300th goal for Madrid, converting a penalty in a 4–1 win at home in La Liga against Valencia.
On 9 March, he scored a hat-trick within 17 minutes in a remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.
Age of 34
At the age of 34, Benzema became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League. With the three goals, Benzema brought his tally to 309.
Overtaking Alfredo Di Stéfano as Real Madrid’s third-highest all-time goalscorer. On 14 March, Benzema scored a brace in a La Liga match against Mallorca.
And broke Henry’s record, becoming all-time top French goal scorer with 413 goals. On 6 April, he scored another hat-trick in the Champions League in a 3–1 away win over Chelsea; in the first leg of the quarter-finals.
Benzema became only the second player (after Cristiano Ronaldo); to score back-to-back hat-tricks in successive Champions League knockout matches.
One week later in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, Benzema scored a 96th minute header in extra time which proved pivotal, as Madrid lost to Chelsea 2–3 on the night but qualified for the semi-finals 5–4 on aggregate.
On 30 April 2022, he helped Real clinch their 35th Spanish title. With a goal in a 4–0 win against Espanyol at the Bernabéu. On 4 May, he scored a decisive goal from the penalty spot in extra time in the second leg.
Against Manchester City and helped Real Madrid reach their 17th European Cup final. By the end of the 2021–22 La Liga season; Benzema won his first Pichichi Trophy. With 27 goals in 32 matches.
On 28 May, he won his fifth Champions League title after a 1–0 win over Liverpool in the final. And finished the tournament as top scorer with 15 goals in total.
On 31 May, Benzema was named the inaugural Champions League player of the season. For his performances in the season, on 17 October, it was confirmed that Karim Benzema had won the Ballon d’Or.
2022 UEFA Super Cup
By scoring in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt on 10 August 2022. Benzema brought his tally to 324 goals; overtaking Raúl as Real Madrid’s all-time second-highest goal scorer.
On 13 August, he was nominated for the Ballon d’Or, widely considered a favorite to win it.
Benzema officially won the Ballon d’Or on 17 October.
Benzema was born in Lyon to French nationals of Algerian descent. His grandfather, Da Lakehal Benzema, lived in the village of Tigzirt.
Located in the northern town of Aït Djellil in Algeria before migrating to Lyon, where he eventually settled in the 1950s. Benzema’s father, Hafid, was born in Tigzirt, while his mother, Wahida Djebbara;
Was born and raised in Lyon; her family originated from Oran. Benzema is the third youngest in the family and grew up with eight other siblings in Bron.
An eastern suburb of Lyon. His younger brothers Gressy and Sabri are also footballers. The former plays at the amateur level with Vaulx-le-Velin in the Division d’Honneur.
The sixth division of French football, while the latter plays in the youth academy of a club in the family’s hometown of Bron.
On 3 February 2014, his daughter Mélia was born. On 5 May 2017, his son Ibrahim was born. A practicing Muslim, Benzema observes fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Religion and Endorsements
He has spoken about his faith saying: “My faith helps me to be focused every day. It brings me benefits and it’s my strength for me, my family, as well as for my work – for literally everything.”
Since evolving internationally, Benzema has participated in numerous advertising campaigns. He was chosen as an ambassador of the American video game publisher Electronic Arts for the FIFA series.
He has signed several sponsorship contracts, notably with the Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai, the French telephone operator SFR and its subsidiary BuzzMobile. the French bank LCL and the sports betting company bwin.
Benzema is sponsored by Adidas. In 2017, his documentary film Le K Benzema was released. In 2020, Benzema started his own YouTube channel, uploading videos of his everyday life, as well as interviews and fan Q&As.
Controversies and legal issues
On 6 December 2006, he told RMC about his possible selection for the Algerian team: “It’s my parents’ country, it’s in my heart.
But good after sporting, it’s true that I will play in French team. I will be always present for the French team. Then it’s more for the sporting side, because Algeria is my country, here, my parents come from there.
After, France … It’s more sporty, that’s it.” Benzema drew some criticism for these comments, as well as for his reluctance to sing the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise”, before each match with the national team.
18 April 2010
On 18 April 2010, French television channel M6 reported that four members of the French national team; were being investigated for their roles as clients in a prostitute ring operated inside of a Paris nightclub.
With some of the women possibly being underage. The players were eventually revealed to be Franck Ribéry, Sidney Govou, Hatem Ben Arfa and Benzema.
Benzema was alleged to have had a sexual rendezvous with a prostitute when she was 16 years of age. An act Benzema denied through his lawyer.
Questioned by Paris police
On 20 July, Benzema was questioned by Paris police and indicted on the charge of “solicitation of a minor prostitute”. In November 2011, prosecutors asked for the cases against Ribéry and Benzema to be dropped.
Saying that the players were not aware that the escort, identified as Zahia Dehar, was 16 years old. However, the case did go on to trial.
In January 2014, the judge in the case dropped the charges against both Ribery and Benzema. Saying there was lack of sufficient evidence that the pair knew the prostitutes were underaged.
4 November 2015
On 4 November 2015, Benzema was arrested by French police; for his alleged part in blackmailing fellow France international player Mathieu Valbuena. Over the alleged recording of a sex-tape on a mobile phone.
During the investigation over the blackmail plot, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated, “A great athlete should be exemplary. If he is not, he has no place in the France team.
There are so many kids, so many youngsters in our suburbs that relate to great athletes. They wear the blue jersey, the colours of France, which are so important in these moments.”
10 December 2015
On 10 December 2015, the president of the FFF Noël Le Graët announced the provisional suspension of the striker from the French team. Until a new development in the affair.
On 17 February 2016, the judicial review was lifted by the investigating judge. Who allowed Benzema to get in touch again with Valbuena.
On 11 July 2017, the Court of Cassation issued a judgment in which it invalidated a decision of the Court of Appeal of Versailles.
Complicity of attempted blackmail
Which had validated the procedure by which Benzema had been indicted for complicity of attempted blackmail. This decision was made on the basis of contesting the legality of the phone calls recording by the police.
And the judgement did not disprove the veracity of the blackmail attempt on Valbuena by Benzema. On 7 January 2021, the public prosecutor’s office in Versailles announced that Benzema would face trial;
For his alleged involvement in the blackmail attempt. On 24 November 2021, Benzema was found guilty of conspiring to blackmail Valbuena with a sex tape.
One-year suspended sentence
The judge gave him a one-year suspended sentence and fined him €75,000. His lawyers said they will appeal his conviction.
In March 2020, during an Instagram livestream with YouTuber Mohamed Henni; Benzema made controversial remarks about French player Olivier Giroud.
Who replaced Benzema in the France national team. He called Giroud “karting” while he referred to himself as “Formula 1”.