The day Karim Benzema nearly signed for FC Barcelona

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Yassine Bounou of Girona dives to save the ball from Karim Benzema of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Girona FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 17, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

According to a story from the vault of Marca, Karim Benzema actually came very close to signing a contract with FC Barcelona before Real Madrid.

Believe it or not, there was a time when French striker Karim Benzema actually entertained the idea of signing a new contract with FC Barcelona back in 2008 when Pep Guardiola took the squad from Frank Rijkaard.

The French striker actually is one of the players that the Catalan manager always liked for one of his squads, he reunites all the qualities that a centre-forward should have in Pep Guardiola’s judgment and Barça really went after the Olympique Lyonnais star.

The problem came when the first meeting between the player and then sporting director Txiki Begiristain took place, Marca reported that the board member actually paid Karim Benzema a visit to his house in Lyon and he didn’t like anything of what he saw there.

The meeting was not too long and Txiki immediately started noticing red flags with the player in regards to the type of friendships he kept and how erratic his behavior was during their meeting.

Begiristain even mentioned that he felt Benzema was disrespectful by not even looking at him in the eye when they spoke.

After that, we all know how things progressed between Real Madrid and Benzema himself, as president Florentino Perez turned the striker into his preferred player and didn’t mind bringing him to the club despite these signs that he would cause problems off-the-pitch.

The history of Karim Benzema has already told us that FC Barcelona probably made a good choice by not signing the Olympique Lyonnais striker, he has been involved in more than one scandal that has even prevented him from having a fully fledged career with the France National Team and he completely missed out on playing the last FIFA World Cup in which he easily could’ve been part of the squad that won the championship.

Karim Benzema has always been a very controversial figure in French football, he has always surrounded himself with very questionable individuals and he has paid the price of his mistakes whenever he was caught doing something that has been regarded as a blatant mistake.

Even the French society doesn’t regard Karim Benzema as an example for his country, but things have drastically changed for the player over the years at Real Madrid.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on February 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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Not everything was bad for Benzema, as the striker has managed to turn his life around in the last few years and he has managed to reach the highest level of success repeatedly at club level.

Karim Benzema is already among the best players in Real Madrid’s history, he has been part of the squad that won four Champions League trophies in the span of five years and he has been an essential part of this team that still fights to keep winning more trophies.

Perhaps he could’ve succeeded at FC Barcelona as well, but that is something that we will never know because the Catalan club made an early decision to not sign him when they had the opportunity.

What we can say is that the type of football that Benzema plays, is exactly what Pep Guardiola loves in an offensive player and he would’ve understood each other perfectly with players like Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and even Lionel Messi.

But we all know how this story turned up, we just thought it would be interesting to tell you about what could’ve been of Karim Benzema would’ve signed a contract with FC Barcelona instead of Real Madrid back in the day.

How successful do you think Karim Benzema would’ve been at FC Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.


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