An immensely talented striker, Benzema has battled through a tough time to establish himself as a key player for club and country.
Following his £30 million move to Real Madrid from Lyon in 2009, he had fallen behind Gonzalo Higuain in the pecking order, and was overlooked for the France squad for the 2010 World Cup, but he has now cemented his reputation as a top-class attacker.
Benzema was born in Lyon to Algerian parents and the North African nation did approach him about making himself available to them, but he declined: "Algeria is in my heart but sporting-wise I'm 100% French."
Strengths: Strong and powerful, he has pace to burn and is a potent finisher from inside the box.
Weaknesses: His first touch can let him down on occasion.
Career high: Sealing a move to Real Madrid in July 2009.
Career low: Missing out on the 2010 World Cup squad and becoming embroiled in a sex scandal prior to the tournament.
Style: Strong, powerful, quick, a classy striker.
Quotes: ''I don't have to worry for him. I am sure that he has the ability to succeed. When you come to a big club, there has to be a period of adaptation - talent is not always enough.'' Zinedine Zidane on Karim Benzema's start at Real Madrid.
Trivia: Benzema grew up with nine siblings and his father Hafid in the district of Bron.