If we ask the majority of young kids around the world what they want to be when they grow up, many of them will choose to be elite athletes . Footballers, tennis players or basketball players, depending on the country in which we do the survey, and the sport that triumphs in those parts. For children and young people, athletes are the best examples of success that one can find. Talented, fearless, ambitious, brave, billionaires … Adored by the masses and with dreamlike lives, or at least that’s what it appears from the outside. Footballers are often role models for many kids who kick a ball in the squares and streets of their neighborhood, dreaming of reaching the elite one day. However, these athletes are no longer usually an example off the field, and many of them are involved in a multitude of controversies .
Precisely because they are young and have a lot of money, footballers usually believe they are above good and evil, capable of doing whatever they want. They are used to being cheered on by thousands of people in matches , but that pressure can also work against them. An unmarked streak, and the striker who was once a god now becomes a villain. A small slip after many stops, and the goalkeeper is disowned by the fans. You need a well-furnished head to survive all that pressure, but the truth is that there are footballers who don’t seem to be exactly right up there. And we say it because they do not stop getting into trouble that, in the end, also end up affecting their sports career . It is not something new, and there are the cases of Geroge Best, Paul Gascoine or Eric Cantona to prove it. However, it seems that now, with football turned into an industry where players are also walking advertisements, exemplary should be greater. This is not the case, and no matter how good you are on the pitch, if it were his that you don’t know how to behave in the end, all this has its consequences, as in the case of Karim Benzema.
Who is Karim Benzema
For lovers of the beautiful game, the name Benzema needs no introduction. He is one of the best center forward in the world, nominated on numerous occasions for the Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid star and champion of everything both with his team and with his national team. Born in Lyon in 1987, in the bosom of an Algerian family, Benzema soon stood out in the lower categories of the city club. At just 18 years old, he made his debut with the Lyon first team, standing out from his first season. After shining not only in Ligue 1, but also in Europe, Real Madrid set their eyes on him, and in 2009 he secured his signing to join him with Cristiano Ronaldo and other great stars in a galactic project high-flying.
Benzema’s story at Madrid has not been exactly idyllic. For many years, the young forward demonstrated his quality through goals, but was questioned by the press and the fans themselves. He didn’t seem to find his place, in fact, until he had to throw the team on his back, for lack of the other stars to do so. His commitment as a Madrid player is unquestionable, and in twelve seasons he has managed to score more than 200 goals for the Whites, becoming an essential point. His career in the national team has also been brilliant, although on a very negative note. His scandals off the pitch prevented him from being in the squads for several years, missing, for example, the World Cup that his country won in 2018. And all because of issues that had nothing to do with football…
The Zahia Dehar Scandal
Just before signing for Real Madrid, Karim Benzema was already involved in a controversy that would explode shortly after and take him to court. According to reports, the forward, along with other teammates, were accused of treating the services of an underage escort. The young woman, named Zahia Dehar, became a public figure in his country, and acknowledged having been with the athletes, although he did not fault them in his treatment. After the trial, the players were acquitted, as the judge considered that they could not really know the age of the girl. Benzema could breathe easy, but that was only a first incident of many that would come later.
The trans prostitute
That respite did not last long for the French international , who was just beginning to take off at Real Madrid as one of the best strikers on the planet. In 2013, when the tension of the Zahia Dehar case seemed to have been left behind, other information shook the sports press. Victoria Durval , a transsexual prostitute, claimed to have had relations with the forward on a date for which he charged 6,000 euros. The young woman, who underwent a sex change operation, warned the boy of her condition, but Benzema had no problem accepting it and having an encounter with her. The prostitute then went on to do interviews in many French and Belgian newspapers telling her story.
He would not be the first player to be involved in this type of encounter, of course, but Benzema was already specializing in controversy, and that did not suit his image very well. The boy weathered the storm as best he could and denied the greatest , especially on the issue of payment, assuring that he did not know the escort. The subject was especially tricky, since it was a trans woman , and Benzema’s background was already clear enough to believe his version. The boy liked prostitutes, although that story was a new twist on that taste. The storm passed and Benzema was able to focus on football , or at least he tried, until the Valbuena case exploded.
We are leaving at the end of 2015, when the news broke that Mathieu Valbuena, striker for Olimpique de Marseille and the French national team, has been the victim of blackmail. The surprising thing is that it has been his own colleagues, including Benzema, who have put him against a rock and a hard place, apparently with a sex video . After Valbuena’s complaint, Benzema was removed from the national team for more than five years, until 2021, when he returned to the calls. Now a world star and doing some of his best seasons, Benzema has had to see how he has recently been convicted in court in this case. The sentence , of only one year, has been exchanged for the payment of a certain amount of money, and the forward will not have to step in jail. Although the news has not attracted much attention, it does not fail to show us that the French is still an expert in scoring goals… and getting into trouble.