Karim Benzema is arguably one of the best football players out there, many even put him on a par with his team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and his biggest rival Lionel Messi, but we’re not here for the “who’s the better player” argument, we’re happy to leave that part to the many sports news sites and blogs out there.
Benzema has proven how talented he is by setting records and taking trophies with the Spanish team Real Madrid, for which he is best known. Let’s take a look at his football career to date, revealing details of his personal life, from his supposed wife to the one time he had an affair with pop star Rihanna, and more.
Karim Benzema Bio
Karim Benzema could have played for the African country of Algeria on the national front if his grandfather Da Lakehal Benzema had not moved from his home town of Tigzirt, Beni Djellil, Algeria to the French city of Lyon in the 1950s.
Da Lakehal had already begun to father children in Tigzirt before his resettlement, and among them was Hafid, who was to become the father of Karim Benzema. In Lyon, Hafid married a certain Wahida Djebbara from Lyon, with whom he married future football star Karim Mostafa Benzema on 19 December 1987.
Karim Benzema grew up with a love of football, a sport that was most popular in the neighborhood where he grew up. When he was 8 years old, he earned a place in his hometown club Bron Terraillon SC. Benzema’s star shone even brighter after a U10 game against the Youth Academy of Lyon, where he scored 2 goals. This achievement made him a sought-after player, because many elite youth academies of the city called for him, Lyon finally won the race.
Benzema quickly improved with the youth team and in 2004 he was appointed to the senior team. At his professional debut, a league match against Metz in 2005, Benzema announced himself by assisting in the second goal of the game. This achievement, along with a number of other achievements, was to consolidate Benzema’s place on the team after he signed his first professional contract, which was to last for three years.
Benzema struggled to find playing time because of the presence of star players such as Fred and Wiltord in the Lyon team. But when he appeared, Benzema proved that he had the skills to become a star. In the 2007/2008 season, after the team’s long-time star players had begun to leave the team, Benzema’s talents became more visible.
This season he scored 30 goals, making him the top scorer in Ligue 1, and the 2008/2009 season was his last with Lyon, after which Spanish giant Real Madrid followed with an enticing 6-year contract worth 35 million euros (50 million dollars). The contract was successful and Benzema officially became a Madrid player.
His influence on the team began to be felt from the 2011 season onwards when he scored 32 goals. Since moving to 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.
After his time in the French national youth team (U17, U18, and U19) Benzema joined the national team in 2007. Since then he has been voted French Player of the Year three times – in 2011, 2012, and 2014.
For years Karim Benzema has been on the Forbes list of the highest-paid football players in the world. In 2013 he made it to 20th place on the list with a total income of 14.9 million dollars. His salary has been augmented by sponsorship contracts with companies such as Adidas, Hyundai, and EA Sports. From 2016, Benzema’s salary at Real Madrid was around 8 million euros. The net assets of Karim Benzema are estimated at 40 million dollars.
Benzema comes from a large family of 9, and he is the third in the family. His siblings include three brothers, 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 football. Like Karim, Sabri started out with a youth club in her hometown of Bron. Gressy on the other hand plays in the 6th French football division, the Division d’Honneur with the Vaulx-le-Velin.
His Wife and Relationship With Rihanna
Like most football stars around the world, Karim Benzema has had romantic relationships with many beautiful women. And although he fathered children with a couple, he never made any of them his wife. Many had thought that he would make French nurse Chloe De Launay (who gave birth to her daughter Melia on February 3, 2014) his wife, but it never happened.
For three years, from 2010 to 2013, he was with Manon Marsault. According to our records, this seems to be the longest relationship of Benzema.
In 2015 Benzema was connected with two women – pop star Rihanna and a certain Analicia Chaves. His relationship with both women was short-lived. Benzema was first associated with Rihanna during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and they were subsequently spotted on dates. There were even reports that Rihanna had introduced Benzema to her family. However, the two never really made their relationship official. Per reported in 2017 that the relationship did not work out because Rihanna still had feelings for her ex Chris Brown.
After his brief affair with Rihanna, he started with Analicia Chaves, fresh from her relationship with Belgian footballer Axel Witsel. Benzema and Analicia flaunted their relationship in social media, but that was soon over.
Benzema is said to have gone out with French model Cora Gauthier next. Their relationship began in 2016, and in May 2017 she gave birth to her son Ibrahim, bringing the number of Benzema’s children to two. Benzema came under fire in early 2018 after he published photos of his children playing with young boys in social media.