is of Algerian Berber descent.
His grandfather, Da Lakehal Benzema, lived in the
village of Tigzirt, located in the northern town of
Beni Djellil in Algeria before migrating to Lyon,
where he eventually settled in the 1950s.
He grew up with eight other siblings in Bron, an eastern
suburb of Lyon.
As a practicing Muslim, he observes fasting during
the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Benzema began his football career at his hometown
club Bron Terraillon SC at the age of eight. While
at the club, he was nicknamed Coco by friends.
Later he became a product of the Olympique Lyonnais
He has earned caps at all national team youth levels
for which he was eligible, excluding the under-16
At under-16 level, Benzema scored 38 goals in the
domestic league for under-16 youth players in France.
He played on the under-17 team that won the 2004 UEFA
European under-17 Championship.
is a member of the group, commonly known in France
as the Génération 1987, A youth class
that produced players like Hatem Ben Arfa, Jérémy
Menez and Samir Nasri.