Karim Benzema was the saving grace of France’s World Cup team during their first match against Honduras. But as the tournament progresses, can the 26-year-old star striker strike gold twice?
Here’s what you need to know about France’s best goal scorer:
1. He Scored 2 Goals Against Honduras
France earned an important 3-1 victory over Honduras during its first game of the World Cup, and Benzema was key to the victory, scoring 2 of the team’s 3 goals, including one on a crucial penalty kick. You can watch that goal here.
2. Next Week He Begins Fasting for Ramadan
For the first time since 1986, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan will fall during the World Cup. This poses a challenge for practicing Muslim players, like Benzema, who are required not to consume food or liquid during daylight hours.
In 2009, Goal.com reported that club doctors had designed special programs to keep fasting players hydrated during games. During that year, only two of Benzema’s matches fell in that month.
3. He Plays for Real Madrid
4. He Was Recently Cleared of Underage Prostitution Charges
In January 2014, Benzema and his French teammate Franck Ribery were finally cleared of all charges in a 2009 scandal in which the two men were accused having sex with a minor and paying her.
Ribery allegedly paid to fly Zahia Dehar, seen above, to Munich from Paris in 2009, when she was 17 years old. According to the Daily Mail, Ribery admitted to having sex with her, but said the money exchanged was for travel and lodging.
5. France Is Playing Switzerland Today
After Switzerland’s big win against Ecuador on Sunday, France will need all of the goals it can get from Benzema when they face off on June 20. The game takes place at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Learn how to watch it below: