After 13 years of hard-work and brilliant service, Karim Benzema’s Ballon d’Or award feels like the culmination of his contribution to Real Madrid. Benzema had been steadily improving and putting in performances for a number of years when Cristiano Ronaldo left, which catalysed the transformation of Benzerma into the star of the show and a clinical goalscorer.
Last season he scored 44 goals and gave 15 assists in just 46 matches, securing the Champions League and La Liga titles. Mundo Deportivo have revealed that it could have gone very differently though.
Now a Real Madrid icon, Barcelona approached Benzema in 2008 looking to sign the French forward then at Lyon. Txiki Begiristain travelled to France to speak with Benzema, but was told by the player himself that he was too young to move to such a big club – something the Blaugrana accepted.
Just a year later, he would end up at Real Madrid. The rest, as they say, is history. In Benzema’s case, it has been an illustrious one.