Karim Benzema’s adventure in the professional world began one winter evening in the middle of January 2005. At the age of 18 and barely a month old, the attacker argues his first match against Metz (2-0) in a team en route to the fourth of his seven consecutive French championship titles. The young man from the center is awaited by the public who have been hearing about his potential and his promises for many months. Since his first training with the pros exactly. He had been invited by “a guy in a suit” to a “computer class”, as he explained later. “He said: At 3:30 p.m., you are training with the pros. I was sixteen and a half.”
Paul Le Guen had therefore launched against Metz (2-0) by bringing him in in place of Pierre-Alain Frau (77th). Ten minutes later, he gave his first decisive assist to Bryan Bergougnoux. He will play five more games until the end of the season. The start of an ascent announced by himself in front of the group during his speech serving as a hazing: “Do not laugh, I’m here to steal your place.”
Author of a remarkable run in the Champions League pool and already assured of the first place (far ahead of Real, beaten 3-0 at Gerland), OL are running for his last game against Rosenborg. Tenured by GÃ © rard Houllier, Karim Benzema took advantage. He scored his first goal with the pros when he kicked a cross from John Carew with his right foot. He hadn’t played in Europe again that season, but Benzema had boosted his stats (4 goals, 4 decisive assists) and playing time (16 games).
Appointed a few weeks earlier to replace GÃ © rard Houllier, Alain Perrin arrives in a climate of mistrust to the point that some have given him the nickname “Passera pas lâ ???? hiver” (PPH ). The adventure started badly with two losses during the first three days in Ligue 1 before the derby against Saint-Etienne. Now installed as a holder and a very young French international (first selection and first goal on March 28, 2007), Benzema offers victory to OL (1-0, 54th) and saves Perrin already. He signed a great season (20 goals), finished top scorer and best player in L1. He actively participates in the double French Cup-championship of his team.
During this season, Benzema also confirms on the European stage. He notably left an impression in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League against Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson. This evening, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes or Rio Ferdinand appear on the lawn of Gerland. But Karim Benzema dislikes the first. He deceives Edwin Van der Sar with a sudden and crossed left strike (54th). His goal will not be enough since Carlos Tevez had equalized (87th) before the Red Devils validated their qualification for the return (1-0). A few weeks later, they will be crowned champions of Europe.
After another full season (23 goals in 47 games in 2008-2009), Karim Benzema left the Lyon cocoon to join Real Madrid in 2009 against 35 million euros. Fate will reserve a reunion with Gerland for the next three seasons. It started with a round of 16 first leg of the Champions League lost by his new team against OL (1-0) on February 16, 2010. Came into play for the Last twenty minutes, he hadn’t changed the course of the match.
The deal was different the following season. Entering in the 64th minute, he had scored on his first ball a minute later at the same stage of the competition. In a big silence, the striker had not celebrated his achievement against his former audience, this February 22, 2011. She had however placed Real on the path of qualification (1-1 finally, 3-0 for Real on the return). He returned to Lyon a few months later (November 2, 2011) for a new confrontation against his former club, in pool this time (Madrid 0-2 victory). Almost ten years later, he is back in his hometown but in a new stadium since he has never yet set foot on the lawn of Groupama Stadium in DÃ © cines. Who gives him a warm welcome with the Blues in a packed stadium.