July 1, 2009 / 7:04 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Real Madrid signing Karim Benzema

 July 1 (Reuters) - Factbox on France striker Karim Benzema,
who agreed to join Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon on Wednesday.
 * Born December 19, 1987 in Lyon, Benzema shone through the
youth ranks and made his Ligue 1 debut as an 17-year-old in
January 2005 against Metz.
 * Member of France's under-17 European championship-winning
side in 2004 alongside Arsenal's Samir Nasri.
 * Helped Lyon win four consecutive French league titles from
2005 to 2008.
 * Best season was 2007-08, in which he ended as the Ligue 1
top scorer with 20 goals. Lyon also lifted the French Cup that
season, completing their first domestic double.
 * Scored 43 goals in 112 domestic matches.
 * Made France debut in 1-0 friendly win against Austria in
March 2007, scoring the only goal of the game.
 * Has scored six goals in 24 appearances.
 * Several top clubs, including Manchester United, had
expressed an interest in the promising forward but Benzema had
always said his dream was to play for Real Madrid.
 * Would love to walk in the footsteps of another gifted son
of Algerian immigrants, Zinedine Zidane, who graced Real and is
now an advisor to club chairman Florentino Perez.
 * Becomes Real's third major signing for the 2009-10 season
after Brazil's Kaka from AC Milan and Portugal's Cristiano
Ronaldo from United.
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 (Editing by Tom Pilcher)

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