- French icon Karim Benzema is one of the most decorated strikers of all time
- He selected his dream 11-a-side team but chose to leave out some huge names
- There’s a lot of anger at Man United – it’s them against the world! Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
Karim Benzema has named his dream 11-a-side line up and left out both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Benzema, 35, joined Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad on an £86m-per-year deal in the summer and is one of the most decorated strikers of all time.
The Frenchman has won 31 senior club trophies in his career, including five Champions League titles, while he also lifted the Ballon d’Or in 2022.
Benzema has slotted into life in the Middle East perfectly, scoring 10 goals in 16 games for Al-Ittihad and on Sunday he spoke to the club’s social media channels to name his ideal team.
However, despite being part of the fabled BBC attack at Real – which comprised of Benzema, Ronaldo and Gareth Bale – there was no room for either of the Frenchman’s former team-mates.
Karim Benzema selected his dream 11-a-side team but snubbed several huge names
Despite being part of the fabled BBC attack, he left out Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi was also omitted, despite Benzema facing the Argentine in several El Classicos
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He also snubbed Lionel Messi, despite coming up against the Argentine in several intense clashes between 2009 to 2023, particularly during the Pep Guardiola-Jose Mourinho era on the touchline.
In goal, Benzema picked Bayern Munich and Germany star Manuel Neuer, while his experiences at the Bernabeu saw former team-mates Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo make up three of the back four.
They were joined by ex-Barcelona right back Dani Alves, which adds to the surprise that Messi was ignored.
In midfield, there was a strong French connection as Claude Makelele and Paul Pogba lined up slightly deeper – with both stars having played with Benzema for France.
Further forward, Benzema’s former Real boss Zinedine Zidane and the legendary Ronaldinho were chosen.
Meanwhile, in attack, Benzema picked himself and selected the Brazilian Ronaldo as a partner in what is a hugely iconic side.
Left back Marcelo (left) was one of seven Real Madrid icons to make up Benzema’s full side
There was a strong French connection in midfield, with Paul Pogba next to Claude Makelele
Given his background with Les Bleus and Real, it is perhaps no surprise that eight of the 11 in Benzema’s side represented at least one of those teams, but he still selected three stars with a Barcelona background.
This included the Brazilian Ronaldo who played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The only member of the side to not have a background from either of the El Clasico rivals is Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer, which is perhaps explained by Benzema scoring just four goals in 10 games against the German giants.
Benzema’s dream line up (4-2-2-2) – Neuer; Alves, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Pogba, Makelele; Zidane, Ronaldinho; Benzema, Ronaldo
Source: Daily Mail Online