Monday, May 12, 2008
The class of Benz
Thierry Henry did not score on his international debut. Neither did David Trezeguet nor Nicolas Anelka. But Karim Benzema (picture) who picked up the French Player of the Year award just hours ago, did.
Just like three of France's mega maestros in recent years - Michel Platini (against Czechoslovakia in 1976), Eric Cantona (Germany in 1987) and Zinedine Zidane (Czech Republic in 1994).
Benzema, who models his game after Ronaldo, netted the solitary goal against Austria last year, off a free-kick from Samir Nasri.
But Just Fontaine did better. He bagged a hattrick on his debut against Luxembourg in 1953.
Only time will tell whether Karimaldo, who like the aforementioned names share one thing in common - a migrant background - can leave an indelible mark on the global scene.
PARIS (AFP) — Lyon striker Karim Benzema has picked up the award of France's Player of the Year awarded by his fellow professionals accepting the trophy from former winner Zinedine Zidane.
The 20-year-old French international has played 35 league games for the reigning champions this year with one match remaining next weekend to decide the title between Lyon and Bordeaux and four games in the Champions League.
He has scored a total of 23 goals total from both competitions and will be one of the key players for his country at next month's Euro 2008 Championships in Austria and Switzerland.
"I never dreamt I would win this trophy, but I am absolutely delighted," he said.
"What matters most though is scoring for the club's sake and our target is to win the league and cup double for Lyon for the first time in the club's history."
Lyon play Paris St Germain in the French Cup final at the Stade de France, Paris on May 28.
Benzema has been attracting interest from several bigger European sides including Manchester United, but he said after accepting the award that he was certain he would still be with Lyon next season.