French club Lyon has agreed to sell their talismanic striker Karim Benzema to Real Madrid, the Spanish club's third big signing in recent weeks. The clubs agreed a transfer fee expected to reach 41 million euros including bonuses, Lyon said.
REUTERS - France striker Karim Benzema has joined Real Madrid from Olympique Lyon, the Ligue 1 club said on their website (www.olweb.fr) on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Benzema became Real's third major signing after Brazil's Kaka and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.
The clubs agreed a transfer fee expected to reach 41 million euros including bonuses, Lyon said without specifying the length of the contract.
Benzema, who helped Lyon win four consecutive French titles from 2005 to 2008, had said previously he wanted to stay for at least another season.
"A few days ago, Karim Benzema informed (Lyon) president Jean-Michel Aulas of his wish to join the Madrid club, the one he has always preferred after Lyon, more quickly than he had initially planned," the seven-times champions said in a statement.
An exciting mix of pace, power and skill, not unlike his Brazil striker Ronaldo, his childhood hero, Benzema had been chased by several top European sides, including Manchester United.
Born in Lyon to Algerian parents, Benzema shone through the youth ranks and made his Ligue 1 debut as a 17-year-old in 2005.
His best season was 2007-08 in which he was Ligue 1's top scorer with 20 goals. Lyon also lifted the French Cup to complete their first domestic double.
A member of France's Under-17 European championship-winning side in 2004 alongside Arsenal's Samir Nasri, Benzema has scored six goals in 24 appearances for France but has not yet fulfilled his potential at international level.
Date created : 2009-07-01