Karim Benzema was already an established international soccer star before the World Cup, having helped Real Madrid (Spain) to UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey championships. But his performance in Brazil for Team France really drew the world’s attention to the French-Algerian Muslim striker, and could lead to more lucrative opportunities.
Stepping up when French star Franck Ribery (also a practicing Muslim) went down with a back injury, Benzema had three goals and two assists during the World Cup as France advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Germany.
Now his name is being mentioned next to the best players in the world, like in the reports that have surfaced lately of English Premier League team Liverpool eyeing Benzema as a replacement for suspended superstar Luis Suarez, whose World Cup run with Uruguay ended controversially when he bit an opponent. Says soccer writer Henry Jackson for This Is Anfield on Benzema:
The 26-year-old Real Madrid star is an aesthetically pleasing player on the eye, gliding gracefully across the pitch with an elegance not dissimilar to former Liverpool striker Nicolas Anelka.
He is a strong finisher, has underrated pace and can link up very well in a front three which would appeal to Rodgers. His form at the end of the campaign alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as Los Blancos won the Champions League was terrific.
17 goals in 35 La Liga appearances for the Spanish giants is a good, if not spectacular, return, and while he may lack the genius of Suarez, he is a hugely talented footballer in his own right. 192 goals in 403 career games is very impressive.
Do you think Karim Benzema is as good as (or better than) Luis Suarez?