From playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo to leading Real Madrid to domestic and continental glory, Karim Benzema’s career has been one of different phases.
Adaptation has been key for the Frenchman alongside different teammates, and under changing managers.
Benzema’s journey has not been without controversy, which has disrupted his international career. He returned to the fold for France, however, featuring at Euro 2020 and being included in the squad for the 2022 World Cup prior to a tournament-ending injury.
Karim Benzema’s Lyon Achievements
- Benzema scored 66 goals in 148 appearances for Lyon from 2004-05 to 2008-09.
- Benzema is a four-time Ligue 1 winner and was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year after finishing as top scorer in 2007-08.
- Benzema became the first winner of the Bravo Award, awarded to the most outstanding young European footballer, in 2008.
- He made his senior debut for Lyon in January 2005, assisting the second goal in a 2-0 win for Les Gones.
- The 2007-08 season was Benzema’s most prolific for his hometown club with 31 goals in 52 matches in all competitions.
- In July 2009, Benzema departed Lyon for Real Madrid, with the Ligue 1 outfit receiving a fee of around €35 million.
Karim Benzema’s Real Madrid Achievements
- Benzema has won four La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.
- He also lifted the Copa del Rey in 2010-11 and 2013-14.
- Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first Frenchman to win the award since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 and eighth Real Madrid player to hold the trophy.
- Benzema has scored 329 goals in 617 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos.
- Only five players have made more appearances for Real Madrid than Benzema, including long-time teammates Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos.
- Benzema holds the record for the most Real Madrid appearances by a non-Spaniard.
- He is the club’s second highest goalscorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo after a goal against Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup saw him overtake Raul.
- Benzema has scored 86 Champions League goals, 74 of which were scored for Real Madrid.
- Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski have scored more Champions League goals than Benzema.
- Benzema has made 146 Champions League appearances (127 for Real Madrid), which ranks fifth all-time just behind Xavi and ahead of Raul.
- In 2021-22, Benzema tied Ronaldo’s record for the most goals in a Champions League knockout phase with 10.
- Benzema was named La Liga Player of the Season in 2019-20 and 2021-22.
- He has been included in the La Liga Team of the Season in four straight campaigns from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
- In March 2022, Benzema netted a quick-fire hat-trick against PSG to become the oldest player to score a Champions League hat-trick.
- Francisco Gento is the only player with more Champions League winners’ medals than Benzema.
- The Real Madrid supporters have voted Benzema Player of the Season on four occasions (2015-16, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2021-22).
- Benzema won his first Pichichi Trophy in 2021-22, becoming the first Frenchman to win the award.
Karim Benzema’s France Achievements
- Benzema has 37 goals in 97 caps for France.
- He is joint-10th on the appearance list with Laurent Blanc and Bixente Lizarazu despite not playing an international match between 2015 and 2021.
- Just four players (Thierry Henry, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Michel Platini) have scored more goals for France than Benzema.
- Benzema has represented France at four major tournaments; the Euros in 2008, 2012 and 2021, and the 2014 World Cup.
- Returning to the squad for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, Benzema scored four times despite France’s early exit and won the Bronze Boot.
- After missing France’s triumph at the 2018 World Cup, he lifted his first international silverware as France beat Spain in the 2021 Nations League final.
Karim Benzema’s World Cup Achievements
- Benzema was not included in the squad for the 2010 World Cup, and had to wait until 2014 for his first tournament appearance.
- He scored three times in the tournament, including a brace and Man of the Match performance against Honduras.
- Benzema scored and played a crucial role in France’s win over Ukraine in the qualification playoff to secure their spot in Brazil for the 2014 edition of the World Cup.
- He scored a couple of goals against Kazakhstan in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
- Didier Deschamps included Benzema in his squad for the tournament in Qatar, but he was ruled out of the tournament due to a thigh injury the day before the opening fixture.