Karim Benzema: Player Profile | Playing Style | Stats | Trophies
Real Madrid have been all about Karim Benzema after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club in 2019. The French striker has exploded to life since Ronaldo left; however, he was already racking up goals alongside Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure made Benzema the protagonist of the club and he has carried that onus admirably.
Before coming to his goals, stats and playing style, we look at his career and background, how he evolved into Europe’s best striker.
Born on 19 December 1987 in Lyon, France, Karim Benzema joined his city’s foremost club Olympique Lyon, and during that time, Lyon was a dominating club in Ligue 1. Benzema’s goal-scoring prowess saw him signing a professional contract with Lyon.
His quick progress at Olympique Lyon made him the club’s prominent player becoming one of the highest-paid footballers in France.
Many top clubs including Manchester United kept a close eye on the young striker, however, Real Madrid managed to land him at the Santiago Bernabeu for €41 million in the summer of 2009.
Karim Benzema left Lyon netting 66 times and providing 26 assists in 148 appearances for them.
New Club, New Era
Karim Benzema slowly adapted to the playing style at Real and established himself as a key part of the Los Blancos squad.
The French striker also had to deal with issues as he was overweight, which led to Benzema undergoing treatment.
Since then, the former Lyon striker never looked back and went on to etch his name in Real Madrid folklore. His arrival bolstered the Real Madrid forward line.
Karim Benzema became the club’s fourth-highest goal scorer with 299 goals in 582 appearances to his name along with becoming the top-scoring French player in La Liga with 140 goals, surpassing Zidane’s 49 goals in 225 appearances.
He is an all-time top five Champions League goalscorer. The Frenchman has scored the fastest goal in El Clasico history; in just 22 seconds, he put the ball to the other side of the net.
Meanwhile, with the National team, Karim Benzema had his fair share. He has been a prolific goalscorer for France and his club, and if there is any better goal scorer than Zidane it is actually Karim Benzema.
Since bursting onto the international stage, the Real Madrid striker has found the back of the net 36 times in 94 appearances with the national team and won UEFA Nations League in 2021.
Europe’s top scorer 2021/22
|19 (38)||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich|
|16 (32)||Patrik Schick||Bayer Leverkusen|
|16 (32)||Dusan Vlahovic||Fiorentina|
|15 (30)||Mohamed Salah||Liverpool|
|15 (30)||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid|
Strong in the air with poacher's instinct
Karim Benzema is a prolific goalscorer with his quick, agile feet; he is good in air and dribbling and can take on defenders with aplomb.
Benzema uses both of his feet when striking. He is a typical number 9 deployed as a center forward but can also operate as an out-and-out striker.
The Real Madrid No. 9 used to switch positions in his early days, capable of playing in several offensive positions, like wings or even as a playmaker, attacking midfielder, or deep-lying forward.
Benzema is more than just a typical goal scorer as he can also drop in deeper or wider areas and link-up play with teammates. He uses his strength and technical ability on the ball to provide assists to his teammates through his vision, creativity, passing and excellent final touch.
He is great in one-to-one passing inside the box, and sometimes defenders find it hard to cope with his quick passing. The Frenchman has been described by the media as “nine and a half.”
Karim Benzema: List of Achievements
- Ligue 1 top scorer: 2007–08
- La Liga Player of the Month: October 2014, June 2020, March 2021, September 2021
- French Player of the Year: 2011, 2012, 2014
- Top four in Ballon d’Or ranking: 2021