When Pep Guardiola took over as Barcelona’s manager in 2008, the club was in need of a forward. Karim Benzema, who had been performing well at Olympique Lyonnais, was their primary target.
“I am very happy that a great like Barcelona pays attention to me,” explained the young forward, then 20 years old, upon learning that the Barça club was following in his footsteps, as Mundo Deportivo reported.
“I would like to play for Barça one day. Who wouldn’t?” added Benzema.
Txiki Begisristain, the technical secretary at Barcelona at the time, visited Benzema’s house in Lyon to convince him to sign with the club. However, Begisristain was not impressed with Benzema’s behaviour and friendships so ultimately, the club decided not to sign him.
Instead, Barcelona acquired Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa in the following years. Real Madrid took a chance on Benzema, and he has been a key player for them ever since.