Karim Benzema is the man who is leading the forward of Real Madrid right now. One of the most famous trios in the history of football, the value of Benzema could be realized more since the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo left Santiago Bernabeu.

Karim Benzema in the cover photo of El Pais. Image Courtesy: AS
Karim Benzema in the cover photo of El Pais. Image Courtesy: AS

Benzema is a superstar and was the star the cover star of El País’ (EP) ICON supplement.

Benzema opened up about his childhood, his family, joining Real Madrid, and how fatherhood has helped him to mature as a person.

The interview has been published at Diario AS.

Here are the excerpts:

EP: Does money bring happiness?

That’s an issue that no one can agree on. Money helps with many things, but you don’t need millions to be happy. When I was a boy, I had absolutely nothing.

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But I was happy. I could quite happily spend a whole day just kicking a ball against a wall and the garage door of my parents’ house. I was a kid who lived for football”.

Friendship

I only have one friend. That shows that friendship is very important to me.

My father:

He was very demanding, but thanks to that I have a strong mentality, strong as steel. Of course, I am very grateful to him. I am who I am today because of the education he gave me.

Benzema, feeling lonely on arrival at Real Madrid

Arriving at Real Madrid, I was only 21; I was on my own because family couldn’t come with me.

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I usually spend a lot of time with them so it was difficult for me at the start.

Social media

Social media allows me to be closer to my fans. And to the people who love me, I have to share something other than football with them every now and again. That’s why I post photographs of me with my kids.

I’m a father, I have wonderful children and my life has changed. I don’t think about what my life might be like in 10 years’ time from now. The main thing is that my children are happy.

Character

It’s not true that nothing affects me. I have feelings but I never show my weaknesses, even though I have them like anyone else. When I am down, I keep it to myself.

Zidane

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He’s like an older brother to me. Off the pitch, he’s always there to give me advice.

Cristiano’s departure

All I can say is that Cristiano leaving allowed me to take on a different role.

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He was scoring 50 or 60 goals every season and I had to adapt to his game. He is one of the best in the world and I was happy playing by his side.

The Valbuena case

You always have ups and downs during your career and that was a low point for me. Everyone has to face up challenges.

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My challenges are big, but my shoulders are broad enough to carry the load and I have the psychological capacity to handle it. I never give up.

Music and cars

Who doesn’t love cars and music? Right now I am listening to Big Ben, a guy from my neighbourhood.

It’s been a while since I last listened to American hip hop but I don’t know, their trainers are cool, I like wearing them.

Image

Why worry about your image when you are who you are? You have to like yourself, if you wait for others to tell you that they like you, and then you don’t understand anything.

Pandemic

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I hope we are all out of this chaos soon. We don’t like playing without the public, but we have got used to it. Seeing as we love football so much, we are happy just to be playing.

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