Marca has revealed the real reason why Barcelona didn’t proceed to sign Karim Benzema, and it’s downright weird.
Karim Benzema has established himself as one of the mainstays in Real Madrid’s starting XI ever since joining the side in 2009.
However, Barcelona had the chance to sign the footballer a year earlier and even conducted a meeting with Benzema. However, the Catalan side passed the chance.
Spanish outlet Marca has now disclosed the real reason behind Barcelona’s decision to not make a move for the French striker.
Barcelona were searching for a forward in 2008 when Pep Guardiola arrived as the permanent head coach of the side. He wasn’t inclined on using Samuel Eto’o as the first-choice striker.
Marca are reporting that Barcelona didn’t sign Karim Benzema in 2008 because he didn’t show eye contact when talking with technical secretary Txiki Begisristain.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) February 21, 2019
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was a primary transfer target for Barcelona while at Lyon back in 2008, according to Marca.
Former Blaugrana boss Pep Guardiola had lost faith in Samuel Etoo at the time and was hoping to bring in the Frenchman to replace him. pic.twitter.com/MsZTn9gT5n
— Sunny 💡 (@Its_SuNnYzzZ_77) February 20, 2019
The club identified Karim Benzema as their main target for the position and Txiki Begisristain was in-charge of the operation. He visited the player’s house to discuss a potential transfer.
According to Marca, Begisristain didn’t like Benzema’s company of friends, and his habit of not making an eye-contact during the conversation annoyed the Barca man.
Barcelona decided to not pursue the player any longer. Real Madrid made an attempt to sign the French forward a year later and succeeded.
The Catalan side bought Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2009 and David Villa a year later as the club enjoyed significant success under Pep Guardiola.
Benzema took his time to adapt to the Spanish conditions but eventually succeeded at Real Madrid. Even when he has been inconsistent over the past few seasons, Benzema continues to lead the forward line for the Spanish side.
Benzema’s First UCL goal when he was 17 years & 355 days old for Lyon (vs Rosenborg) in 2005/06 season. He scored his 60th UCL goal last week against Ajax. Top 4 in Goals & Top 5 in Assists in UCL.
— Ashish Romea (@RMadridEngineer) February 21, 2019
RDT: “Madrid produce so many chances, Benzema is the world’s best striker, I’ve always said that. Whoever doubts Benzema is doubting football itself, you just can’t find a striker like him capable of combining with his teammates, creating chances & deliver assists.” pic.twitter.com/ZcaOSfIxpx
— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) February 22, 2019
Top 10 in Europe this Season – Karim Benzema of Real Madrid
– 19 Goals
– 7 Assists
– 60+ Chances Created
– 15 Points won in La Liga (out of 45)
– 27% of Real Madrid goals scored
– 5 MOMs pic.twitter.com/nVTN3fkrUA
— Ashish Romea (@RMadridEngineer) February 20, 2019
The forward recently made his 300th La Liga appearance for Real Madrid. Benzema has scored 211 goals for the Spanish giants in 451 games across all competitions.
In the current season, Benzema is currently the highest goalscorer for Real Madrid, with 19 goals in 39 appearances.