Karim Benzema was born on December 19, 1983 in Lyon, France to parents of Algerian descent. He grew up in the Bron neighborhood of Lyon and came from a large family with eight siblings.
From a young age, Benzema was passionate about football and played whenever he could on the neighborhood fields and concrete courts. His talent was evident even as a young boy. At the age of eight, he joined his first football club, the local team Bron Terraillon SC.
Education and Early Football Career
Benzema did not pursue education beyond the required level in France. Instead he focused his efforts on improving his football skills in the youth academy of Olympique Lyonnais, one of the biggest clubs in France.
He quickly ascended the ranks in their youth system and made his reserve team debut at age 15. After more strong performances with the reserves, coaches knew it was only a matter of time before he made the first team.
Net Worth, Salary and Endorsements
According to multiple reports, Karim Benzema’s current net worth is estimated to be around $40 million. This net worth has been fueled by his lucrative playing contracts, endorsements and savvy investments.
Salary at Real Madrid
One of the main sources contributing to Benzema’s healthy net worth is the significant wages he earns playing for globally renowned club Real Madrid and being their star attacking player.
- He signed his first contract with Real Madrid in 2009 worth over $30 million spread over six years.
- His latest contract extension in 2021 pays him a reported $12 million per year through June 2023.
This makes Benzema one of the highest paid football players at Real Madrid and in La Liga as a whole.
Benzema has endorsement deals with several major brands mostly centered around his sport.
- He has a lifetime sponsorship deal with Adidas worth over $1.5 million per year.
- Other current deals include sponsors such as TCL Electronics and French carmaker Peugeot which bring in several more millions annually.
The sizable income from these deals has clearly put Benzema in very good financial standing as he continues his iconic career.
Age and Early Life Information
As of January 2023, Karim Benzema is 35 years old. His date of birth is December 19, 1983.
Benzema’s zodiac sign is Sagittarius in western astrology. Some of the traits associated with this sign are optimism, curiosity, generosity and a sense of humor.
Nationality and Ethnic Background
Karim Benzema possesses a multicultural background. He was born and raised in France and is a French citizen but his origins trace back to Algeria where his parents came from before immigrating to France.
Benzema has often spoken fondly of this Algerian heritage that has influenced his upbringing. However, professionally he has only represented France on the international stage, making almost 100 appearances for Les Blues.
Career Summary, Achievements and Awards
Benzema’s club career kicked off at his hometown club Olympique Lyonnais where he progressed through their youth system before making his first team debut in 2004 at age 16.
After four very successful seasons at Lyon where he won four league titles and established himself as one of Europe’s promising young talents, in July 2009 he transferred to Spanish giants Real Madrid in blockbuster $45 million deal, making him one of the most expensive transfers at the time.
Benzema has gone on to achieve phenomenal success with Real Madrid over a trophy-laden 13 year period and counting. He surpassed legendary Raul as the foreign player with most appearances for Real Madrid.
His career honours with Real Madrid include:
- 5 La Liga titles
- 4 UEFA Champions League crowns
- Numerous domestic cups
- 3 UEFA Super Cups
- 4 FIFA Club World Cups
Benzema has been a fixture in the starting XI during this period especially following departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 which saw him assume the role of lead attacker. His phenomenal goal scoring exploits were crucial to many of these titles.
In 2021, he was named Real Madrid’s first French captain in the club’s 121-year history – a big honour that shows his leadership status.
In 2022, he won the prestigious UEFA Champions League Player of the Season and Ballon d’Or awards – crowning achievements of his illustrious club career thus far.
On the international scene, Benzema’s career with France has seen its share of ups and downs. He was initially excluded from squads during 2016-2021 for extra-sporting reasons before making a return ahead of Euro 2020.
Since his comeback he has produced stellar performances, finishing as top scorer as France reached the final of the UEFA Nations League.
He was also France’s top scorer with 4 goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament on the road to helping his team reach an impressive second consecutive final.
Individual and Team Records
A supremely gifted striker, over the years Benzema has racked up numerous goal scoring records and stats for both club and country:
- Real Madrid’s fifth highest all time goal scorer
- Fourth highest scorer in Champions League history with 86 goals
- France’s second highest goal getter with 37 goals
Personal Life Details and Relationships
Karim Benzema prefers to keep a low profile and remains quite private when it comes to his personal affairs. He comes from a large family of Algerian immigrant parents – his father had a job in the construction industry while his mother was a housewife.
Benzema has a daughter, Mélia, born in February 2014 with ex-girlfriend Chloe de Launay. He keeps his relationship with his daughter out of public spotlight.
For some years until late 2017, Benzema reportedly had a relationship with French model Cora Gauthier. He has generally remained discreet regarding his dating life since then.
Benzema has been involved in some controversies off the pitch that have 0at times affected his international career.
In 2015, he became embroiled in a major scandal dubbed the “sex tape affair” involving then fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena. As a result the French Football Federation suspended Benzema from the national team from 2016 to 2021.
This caused him to miss major tournaments like Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup win. Eventually after years frozen out, coach Didier Deschamps recalled him ahead of Euro 2020 where France had a strong run.
Net Worth Comparison
Compared to his teammates on the French national squad:
- Benzema’s net worth of $40 million is significantly higher than midfielder N’Golo Kante’s $25 million net worth but lower than forward Kylian Mbappe’s $110 million.
- As the veteran on the team, Benzema’s earnings reflect his years of success at the top level both at the club and international level.
- The 23-year old Mbappe already has higher career income due to his massive PSG salary and high value endorsement portfolio with luxury brands.
Versus Cristiano Ronaldo
Measured against legendary former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo:
- Benzema’s $40 million net worth is dwarfed by Ronaldo’s status as a billionaire athlete with a net worth over $500 million.
- This massive difference is largely due to Ronaldo’s unparalleled global brand, business ventures and status as the world’s most followed athlete on social media platforms.
- However, amongst active players today, Benzema still ranks very well in terms of career earnings within the top 15 highest paid currently in the game.
Karim Benzema’s Outlook and Future Plans
In the immediate future, Benzema’s focus is surely trained on continuing Real Madrid’s current excellent season. They have already won the Spanish Super Cup title and lead La Liga standings.
The main target is chasing Champions League glory – a trophy they have claimed 5 times in Benzema’s tenure so far. At age 35 Benzema is still playing some of the best football of his career and will be hugely motivated to keep adding to his glittering list of achievements with Los Blancos.
Long-Term Plans Post-Retirement
While he remains a key player for his club and country, Benzema has openly admitted he has started to think about his post playing days. He has spoken of pursuing coaching badges once retiring to remain in the sport he loves.
With his smart investments and lucrative endorsements accumulated, he should be well equipped to transition into the next phase of life.
Benzema will aim take advantage of many opportunities whether coaching, becoming a football pundit or exploring other business ventures with the wealth he has amassed from his supremely successful playing career over the past 20 years.