Hot Benzema could break Zidane record

February 26, 2008

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema looks certain to one day leave Olympique Lyon for more glamorous pastures. If Lyon have their way, he could end up being the most expensive player ever.

The 20-year-old France striker has burst into the limelight this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions including one in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Manchester United last week which Alex Ferguson called a “marvellous strike”.

Sir Alex is not the only manager to have spotted the phenomenon, who is clearly good enough for any club. Real, AC Milan, Chelsea, you name it. A rare combination of power and skill, Benzema can do it all.

His gift for close control and unique game intelligence are reminiscent of another French prodigy of North African descent, Zinedine Zidane. But the young man is a true striker with a taste for blistering runs, who has that nack of being at the right place at the right time.

He is a matchwinner who can make a goal out of nothing, not unlike the player he admires the most, Brazil’s Ronaldo (not now obviously).

All this comes at a price, and that could be more than when Zidane left Juventus for Real Madrid in 2001 for a world record fee of 75 million euros.

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas, who knows what he has in Benzema, is working out a plan. The player is contracted to Lyon until 2012 and Aulas is negotiating a two-year extension with a pay rise that would make Benzema the highest-paid player in Ligue 1. The Lyon boss said he was also considering setting a buyout clause worth 100 million euros.

“If Karim could sign with us until 2045, it would be fantastic,” Aulas said last week.

Benzema himself said he saw his future at Lyon and wanted to stay there until they won the Champions League. That could be quite a long time.

There is little doubt, however, that he will eventually move on and become a Galactico, a Fantastico or something of that kind. There isn’t anybody money can’t buy. In Benzema’s case, however, it will have to be an awful lot of money.
Patrick Vignal, Paris

PHOTO: Benzema in action against Manchester United, Feb. 20 REUTERS/Toby Melville


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It’s weird to think Zidane still holds the record 7 years on. I guess the transfer bubble burst a little bit. But this guy does look the bees knees and at such a young age, Lyon should hold out for all they can get.
If Man U paid Everton 30 mln for Rooney, a hotheaded youngster who had one amazing season, Benzema must be worth more as he is already in the Champions League and seems pretty easy going.

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

Finally. It’s also worth mentioning his abilities internationally are well above par. Do I think he’s worth a record breaking transfer fee? Probably not, but there is a lot of potential in the lad. I’m not sure how much though because I’m not paid to investigate that. But let’s be serious, if he were to be offered a role at Milan to play alongside his hero (if he plays again), what 20 year old wouldn’t jump at the chance? Especially if Lyon go another season or two of crashing out in the first knockout round (fingers crossed they win the return leg).

Posted by clement | Report as abusive

Benzema is a bad-ass and a player to build a team around. cant wait to see where he ends up. I think he would do well in the the Serie A, a league for big strikers.

Posted by bill | Report as abusive

Hot Benzema could break Zidane record – Reuters Soccer Blog

Another blog about Benzema – he says he wants to stay at Lyon until the win the Champions League, ambitious.

Posted by | Report as abusive

benzema is such an exciting talent. one of those young players you just know that, all being well, they could go to the very top. i hope he stays at lyon for a good few years yet having risen through the youth system there.

Posted by J-F | Report as abusive

It’s a tricky one this, Benzema, as you point out has only burst onto the scene this season and shelling out such coin on a player who has had a great half-season would be a massive gamble which may not pay off.
The flip side to this is that if teams such as Milan and Madrid – the big clubs with plenty of cash – decide that Benzema is worthy of a place in their team, then the price will have become inflated.

Posted by Betting Blue Boy | Report as abusive

for now ther is no one like zidane is the king of footbole and i think benzema is the one after zidane we will see

Posted by paoulo | Report as abusive