Christian Benteke is a tall, somewhat gangly professional football (soccer) player who has spent a reasonable part of his career playing top-flight football for some of the best teams in the English Premier League (EPL). Benteke also plays for the Belgian national football team as a striker, a position he fills for his club team as well.

Benteke started his professional career at Standard Liege, a club in his home country of Belgium. However, he gained wider recognition when he joined he joined Aston Villa which gave him the opportunity to shine in arguably Europe’s top league. His exceptional contribution saw him move to Liverpool FC in a big money deal.

Since then, his career has not really hit the heights expected of someone with his quality and potential, but he continues to fight to achieve that. He has turned out for Belgium in over 30 games, taking in appearances in UEFA Euro 2016.

Biography of Christian Benteke

Benteke was born on December 3, 1990, in his native country of Congo. He and his family migrated to Belgium three years after his birth in 1993. Christian developed a love for football after they arrived in Belgium and started training to make a career out of it.

His Career at Standard Liège and Genk

His earliest recorded team exposure to the game was with the youth football team JS Pierreuse after which he moved to Genk where he stayed from 2007 to 2009. From here he moved to Standard Liège in January 2009 for the remainder of the 2008/2009 season. He contributed 3 goals in 12 appearances for the club as they went on to lift the Belgian championship. The next season, he was sent on loan to KV Kortrijk, where he netted 14 times for the Belgian Pro League team. After an underwhelming second loan season, he rejoined Genk for the 2011/2012 season. He recorded a career-high 19 goals and 9 assists in a total of 37 games, 20 of which he started.

Aston Villa

A few games into the 2012/2013 season, Christian was signed by premier league club Aston Villa for a fee believed to be around £7 million. After scoring in his debut match against Swansea City, Benteke continued a rich scoring form throughout the season, inspiring wins against the likes of Norwich, Liverpool, and in a 6-1 pounding of Sunderland. He ended the season with a total of 23 goals in all competitions, earning praise from the likes of then-Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas, ex-England international Michael Owen, and his own coach, Paul Lambert. Christian came in second to Gareth Bale for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

The striker carried his rich scoring form into the next campaign, scoring his first four goals in as many games. However, his thundering form was halted when he suffered a hip flexor injury against Norwich City that was supposed to sideline him for at least six weeks. He returned to play and scored his first goal against Arsenal after a 12-game drought. Christian Benteke went on to score against the likes of Liverpool, West Brom, and Norwich City before rupturing his Achilles tendon on April 2014, during training. He was out for a much lengthier period which saw him ruled out of the season and miss the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Christian Benteke and his younger brother, Jonathan Benteke at Crystal Palace
Christian Benteke and his younger brother, Jonathan Benteke at Crystal Palace (image source)

Christian Benteke had an underwhelming 2014/2015 season, as he endured several periods of goal-drought throughout the campaign. He did rally a little though, scoring 11 goals in 9 appearances after Tim Sherwood took over as manager. He also led his team to their first FA Cup finals in 15 years. Unfortunately, they lost the title to Arsenal in a 4-0 rout.

Liverpool

The highly-rated forward was snatched by Liverpool for a then-club record fee of £32.5 million which was signed on July 22, 2015. Unfortunately, barring some spectacular goals against the likes of Chelsea and Leicester City, his single season at Liverpool was one to forget. This was mostly because he still suffered niggling injury problems and also was not fitting into the style of play that the new coach Jürgen Klopp wanted. He hit just 10 goals in 42 appearances, most of which were from the bench. He was moved on to Crystal Palace at the end of the season.

Crystal Palace

The Belgian international became a Crystal Palace forward on August 20, 2016, with Crystal Palace having to pay £27 million fee for his services. He scored his first goal for the club three weeks later in a 1-2 win away at Middlesbrough. Benteke also recorded two braces, the first on his birthday against Southampton, and the second against his former team, Liverpool on April 23, 2017. He ended the season with 17 goals from 40 appearances in all competitions. The 2017/2018 season turned out to be another disaster for the striker as he managed only 3 goals in 30 games all season.

Christian Benteke’s National Team Career

The striker has represented Belgium since his teenage years, turning out for his country in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World up, where he scored once in 3 appearances. His first goal for the national senior team came against the Netherlands in a 4-2 victory on August 15, 2012. Benteke holds the record for the fastest goal in a World Cup competition, after scoring in just 8.1 seconds into the game against Gibraltar in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier. He has registered 12 goals in 32 caps for Belgium

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His Family

The Crystal Palace forward was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the capital city of Kinshasa. In 1993, Benteke and his parents; Jeane-Pierre Benteke (father) and Marie-Clair Benteke (Mother) escaped the country due to the untold hardships that then-president Mobutu’s regime was causing. The family moved to the city of Liège in Belgium.

Benteke has a younger brother, Jonathan who was born two years after the family had come to Belgium. Jonathan is also a football player who has played as a forward for teams like Zulte-Waregem and Omonia Nicosia. He joined the development squad of Crystal Palace in the same season as Christian and was substituted in for him in a game against Middlesbrough. On February 6, 2018, Jonathan joined League One’s Oldham Athletic on a short-term deal that lasted till the end of the season.

Christian Benteke got married to his girlfriend Fortune Benteke in a lavish, closed-off ceremony in mid-2017.

Height and Weight

Christian is fit and looks it too, standing at an impressive height of 6 feet 3 inches (1.9m). He also maintains a healthy weight of around 83 kg. Being an athlete, he looks fit all the time though he has had several bouts with injuries, none have put him permanently out of play. We do hope he continues to shine on and off the pitch.

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