Karim Benzema was close to joining Juventus before he eventually moved to Real Madrid, claims Claudio Marchisio.
Benzema has gone on to be one of Real’s greatest ever goalscorers since moving from Lyon in 2009, with 272 goals in 545 appearances.
However, he was initially unsure whether his future would lie in Madrid and, according to former Juventus and Italy midfielder Marchisio, he very nearly chose to continue his career in Turin instead.
What did Marchisio say?
Interviewed by the YouTube channel ‘Cronache di Spogliatoio’, Marchisio said of Benzema: “He is a great player. Benzema was very close to joining Juventus in the year in which Ciro Ferrara was coaching the team.
“It’s a pity, given that, after CR7 [Cristiano Ronaldo]’s farewell [from Madrid], only he is scoring “.
When did Benzema nearly join Juventus?
The season Marchisio refers to is the 2009-10 campaign, with Ferrara taking over as manager at Juventus ahead of that season.
Benzema moved from boyhood club Lyon to Real that summer in a €35 million transfer, and he has stayed with Real ever since.
Ferrara would soon regret missing out on Benzema – he was sacked later that season, with Juve going on to finish a disappointing seventh in Serie A, and were eliminated in the Champions League group stage.
Benzema, meanwhile, has continued scoring consistently during his 12-year career at Santiago Bernabeu, shouldering the burden of goals even more heavily after former team-mate Ronaldo did move to Juventus, joining the Italian giants in 2018.
The Frenchman is fifth on the list of Real’s all-time top scorers – a chart topped by Ronaldo.