Five things you may not know about Karim Benzema

Few players in European football can match the longevity and long-term quality that the Frenchman has shown since joining Real Madrid back in 2009, but there’s still a lot you may not know about the LaLiga star.

1. He’s one of the four all-time top Champions League goal scorers

Benzema’s name may not be the first that comes to mind when thinking of the all-time top scorers in the Champions League, but the Frenchman has a very impressive 79 goals to his name from 137 appearances in the competition. He scored 12 for his first club, Lyon, before adding 67 for Real Madrid since 2009. Benzema currently sits fourth in the all-time standings, after breaking Raúl González’ mark on September 2021, and only behind La Liga greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, apart from the Polish Robert Lewandowski.

2. He scored the fastest goal in El Clasico history

Karim took just 22 seconds to score in a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Barcelona in December 2011, making him the fastest-ever goalscorer in the history of the greatest game in club football. Since 2009 he’s scored 11 times against his side’s biggest rivals, ranking him third on the active goal scorers ranking behind Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and with the same mark than Luis Suarez.

3. He could have played for Algeria

Born in France but of Algerian descent, Karim could played for the Algerian national team. In fact, the Algerian football federation is known to have tried to convince him when he was making a name for himself. He chose France and has 94 caps for Les Bleues, after returning in June 2021 after almost six years out of the national team.

4. A film was made about his life

‘Le K Benzema’ was released in 2017 and charted his rise through the ranks at Lyon and to global stardom at Real Madrid, featuring interviews with his parents, friends and teammates. The film also opened up on his friendship with French rapper Booba and his close relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane.

5. He has eight siblings, some of which are also footballers

Karim comes from a BIG family. In total, he has eight siblings – three brothers and five sisters. The Real Madrid star is the third youngest of the family, while his two younger brothers – Gressy and Sabri – have also made a career for themselves in football, although not quite at the same heights as Karim.


Image by Daniel Mihailescu – Pool/Getty Images.

Tags El Clasico Karim Benzema Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane
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