- Karim Benzema got a hero's welcome on his return to his hometown of Olympique Lyon with the Ballon d'Or trophy
- The Ballon d'Or winner started his career with Lyon before signing for Real Madrid in the summer 2009
- Benzema edged out Sadio Mane and Kevin de Bruyne to win his first Ballon d’Or award in Paris last month
Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema received a rapturous reception from hometown club Lyon after returning to show off his Ballon d'Or trophy on Friday night.
The 34-year-old was invited by Lyon to present his Ballon d'Or trophy in front of 41,000 crowd ahead of the team's game against Nice in Ligue 1 at Groupama Stadium.
The Frenchman started his senior career with Les Gones before moving to the Santiago Bernabeu outfit in 2009.
"Thank you to Real Madrid for allowing me to make this dream come true. Thus, I had the opportunity to thank Lyon, the team where my heart has been in since childhood," the Bezema said via Tribuna.
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He made 148 appearances in all competitions for Lyon between 2005 and 2009, scoring 66 goals.
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The forward joined Real Madrid for a transfer fee reported to be in the region of €35 million, with the fee rising to as much as €41 million based on incentives.
Lyon fans were excited to see their legend back after being crowned the best player in the world.
The striker has never hidden his love for Lyon and has previously admitted he would be open to ending his career with the Ligue 1 side.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has also hinted at a future reunion, describing Benzema as a "child of Lyon."
Benzema edged out Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne to win his first Ballon d’Or award in Paris last month.
Benzema vowed to join Liverpool
Real Madrid had turned their focus to the Tottenham striker after missing out on signing Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, in their search for a new attacker.
According to Sportskeeda, Benzema has now revealed that he would have opted to join English Premier League giants Liverpool if Real Madrid had signed Kane last summer.
Guti criticises Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema is one of Real Madrid’s golden boys, but not everyone associated with the club is a fan.
The club have only won one game in their last four in all competitions, and one of the reasons is the absence of Benzema up front.
As noted by The Real Champs, Benzema does not want to risk his place at the World Cup and is rather taking it easy at Madrid so as to avoid picking up any injuries before the tournament begins. Sports Brief earlier reported.