Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema Makes Fools Of Us All


Karim Benzema is a terrific football player. His talents at Real Madrid are obvious to even the most novice of football fans. He’s been in terrific form this year with six goals in his six appearances for Los Blancos. Unfortunately, Benzema has reminded us that being a good football player doesn’t mean you are a good person.

The only way you haven’t heard about Benzema today is if you have been in a coma or Amish country. The 27-year-old French forward has been formally charged by authorities in connection with the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal. Allegedly, Benzema played some part in urging Valbuena to pay off his blackmailers. Apparently one of the blackmailers is a childhood friend of Benzema’s and that’s how he became involved.

Let me be clear here, we aren’t talking about any minor charges either. If convicted of “complicity in an attempted extortion” he faces a minimum of five years in prison. He isn’t going to walk away with a fine and community service on this one.

What’s even worse, is that Benzema also finds himself as a person of interest in the “Air Cocaine” scandal being investigated by the Spanish authorities. While the links of him to any actual crime here are premature at this point, he is still hanging out with exceptionally bad people. Not a good look for the French international.

Ultimately, we shouldn’t be surprised when we read these things about athletes anymore. We’ve had numerous cases of our beloved heroes on the pitch turning out to be villains off the field. Yet still, we continue to elevate star athletes to these places of distinction and high acclaim in our own minds. It’s quite sad really.

It’s sad that we haven’t learned our lesson. Sad that we continue to put athletes on pedestals when we are repeatedly reminded that they are just as capable of being “bad people” as anyone on the street. When will we as a society learn to be smarter? To not be surprised when one of our football heroes falls from grace?

More from Playing for 90

As sad as it is for fans to idolize these players who turn out to be criminals, it’s even worse for players like Benzema who fall into this sort of trap. They’ve been given an incredible gift to play football at the highest level and they squander it. They put at risk millions of dollars, fame, fortune and most importantly, the chance to do good in the world. You have to be a real fool to put all that at risk by engaging in criminal activity.

Parents, go home and teach your children who they should really admire. It’s not great strikers like Karim Benzema. It’s those who devote themselves to service of the greater good. Let us hang posters of philanthropists, police and nurses in our children’s rooms. How awful would you feel right now if you’d let your child hang a Benzema poster by the bed?

The potential fall for Karim Benzema is a sad thing for the world of sport and fans of Real Madrid. Ultimately it should be another sobering lesson for us all on the dangers of assuming great football players are great people as well. We’ve been blinded by his talent and he’s made fools of us all.