Karim Benzema is arguably one of the finest soccer players out there, many even rank him on par with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo and his biggest rival Lionel Messi, but we’re not here for the “who’s a better player” argument, we’ll gladly leave that part to the many sports news sites and blogs out there.
Benzema has proven how talented he is by setting records and packing trophies with the Spanish side Real Madrid which he is most known for. Let’s take a look at his soccer career so far as we also reveal details about his personal life from his perceived wife to that one time when he had a fling with pop star Rihanna and more.
Karim Benzema Bio
Karim Benzema could have been playing on the national front for the African country Algeria if his grandfather Da Lakehal Benzema didn’t relocate from his native Tigzirt, Beni Djellil, Algeria to the French city Lyon in the 1950s.
Before his relocation, Da Lakehal had already begun making children in Tigzirt and among them was Hafid who would become Karim Benzema’s father. In Lyon, Hafid married a certain Lyon native Wahida Djebbara and with her, he had the future soccer star Karim Mostafa Benzema on the 19th of December 1987.
Karim Benzema grew up to love soccer, a sport that was most loved in the neighboorhood he was raised in. When he was 8 years old, he earned a berth on his hometown club side Bron Terraillon SC. Benzema’s star shone even brighter after a U10 match against the Lyon Youth Academy where he scored 2 goals. That performance made him a highly-sought player as many elite youth academies around the city came calling, Lyon ultimately won the race.
Benzema quickly improved with the youth team and in 2004 he was called up to join the senior team. In his professional debut, which was a league match against Metz in 2005, Benzema announced himself by providing the assist for the second goal of the match. That performance coupled with a host of others would solidify Benzema’s stay at the team after he signed his first professional contract which was to last for three years.
Benzema struggled to find playing time due to the presence of star players like Fred and Wiltord in the Lyon team. However, when he did make an appearance, Benzema proved he had the skills to become a star. By the 2007/2008 season after the longtime star players of the team had begun to depart, Benzema’s talents became more visible.
He scored 30 goals that season to become the Ligue 1’s highest goal scorer. The 2008/2009 season was his last with Lyon after which Spanish giants Real Madrid came calling with a tempting €35 million ($50 million) 6-year contract. The deal was successful and Benzema officially became a Madrid player.
His impact with the side began to be felt from the 2011 season when he scored 32 goals. Since joining Madrid, Benzema has won at least 15 trophies including 3 UEFA Champions League trophies and 2 La Liga titles. He has scored over 120 goals.
Following his time with the French youth team (U17, U18, and U19), Benzema joined the national team in 2007. He has since been named French player of the year thrice – 2011, 2012 and 2014.
For years, Karim Benzema has appeared on Forbes’ List of the world’s Highest-Paid Soccer players. In 2013, he made the list at number 20 with a total earning of $14.9 million. Bolstering his salary was endorsement deals with the likes of Adidas, Hyundai, and EA Sports. As of 2016, Benzema’s salary with Real Madrid was about €8 million. Karim Benzema’s net worth is estimated at $40 million.
Benzema hails from a large family of 9 and he is the third in the family. His siblings include three brothers namely; Sabri, Farid, and Gressy; and five sisters; Laeticia, Sofia, Celia, Lydia, and Nafissa.
Two of Karim’s younger brothers Gressy and Sabri are also interested in soccer. Sabri like Karim started out with a youth club in their hometown of Bron. Gressy, on the other hand, plays in the 6th division of the French football, Division d’Honneur with the Vaulx-le-Velin.
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His Wife and Relationship With Rihanna
As with most soccer stars around the world, Karim Benzema has enjoyed romantic relationships with a good number of beautiful women. And while he has fathered children with a couple, he has never made any his wife. Many had thought that he would make French nurse Chloe De Launay (who birthed their daughter, Melia on February 3rd, 2014) his wife but it never happened.
For three years, from 2010 to 2013, he dated Manon Marsault. From our records, that seems to be Benzema’s longest lasting relationship.
In 2015, Benzema was linked with two women – pop star Rihanna and a certain Analicia Chaves. His relationship with both women was short-lived. Benzema was first linked with Rihanna during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and subsequently, they were spotted out on dates. Reports even surfaced that Rihanna had introduced Benzema to her family. However, the pair never really made their relationship official. Per reports in 2017 that the relationship didn’t work out because Rihanna still had feelings for her ex Chris Brown.
It was after his brief fling with Rihanna that he began dating Analicia Chaves who was fresh off her relationship with Belgian footballer Axel Witsel. Benzema and Analicia showed off their relationship on social media, but it was soon over.
Next, Benzema was said to be dating French model, Cora Gauthier. Their relationship began in 2016 and in May 2017, she birthed their son, Ibrahim, bringing the number of Benzema’s kids to two. Benzema came under fire in early 2018 after he took to social media to post photos of his kids playing with young cubs.