Karim Benzema was born in Lyon and joined the club when he was just 9-years-old and was a ballboy when he was a teenager.
In 2008, Benzema started looking for a move away from the club. “Milan makes me dream,” he said in January. “But I also love Juventus, Inter and Manchester United – the big clubs.”
However, the following month he seemed more committed, claiming he would stay at his boyhood club until they had success in Europe.
“I have said I wouldn’t leave Lyon until we’ve won the Champions League and I have no intention of trying to go.”
Benzema signed for Real Madrid the following year (without a Champions League winners medal) and claimed this was the team he had always wanted to play for. “When I was 16 this is the team I dreamed of above all,” he said. “Now, in a few weeks, I’ll be there. I am very happy.”
Benzema kissed the Real Madrid badge when he was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium following his €35 million move from Lyon.
“I am very happy to be playing for the best club in the world,” he said. “I am happy to be playing for the same team my idols Zidane and Ronaldo played for. One, two, three: Hala Madrid!”