A product of the Olympique Lyonnais youth academy, he is very capable of playing as the main striker in Lyon's preferred 4-3-3 formation, but he can also play on both wings. In the 2006-07 season, after forming an understanding with new manager Alain Perrin, he was given the central role in which he responded with 24 goals in 37 games. On March 13, 2008, Benzema extended his contract with Lyon until 2013 with a 1 year extension option. After signing his new contract, Benzema became one of the highest paid footballers in France. He was recently voted the best player in France, while ex-Lyon colleague Hatem Ben Arfa was voted the best young player.
After getting off to a strong start to the 2008-2009 season, netting six goals in his team's first five matches, Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has quelled the many transfer rumors surrounding Benzema by placing a €100 million price tag on the striker.
In October 2008 rumours surfaced that Spanish giants Real Madrid were set to bid €100 million for the Lyon hitman. Benzema, being a lifelong Real Madrid fan has stated in the past that his ideal move would be to Real Madrid. Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas says only Benzema can negotiate his departure to the Spanish champions.
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