What's the story?
According to reports from Spanish media outlet Marca, Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was top of Barcelona's wish list back in 2008 but Barcelona backed out as they were not convinced about the Frenchman.
In case you didn't know...
Despite their recent loss against Girona in La Liga, Karim Benzema is one of the reasons for Real Madrid's resurgence in this current season.
With 19 goals and 4 assists in all competitions so far, Benzema is surely having a huge impact with the club in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo this season.
There is no doubt that Karim Benzema's caliber as he has scored over 200 goals for Los Blancos since his arrival at Spain almost 10 years ago. Benzema has been a dedicated servant to Real Madrid and helped the Los Blancos win a plethora of trophies and make history with his impact.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona was in dire need of a number 9 back in 2008 when Pep Guardiola took charge at the Camp Nou.
Pep was not fond of relying solely on sharpshooter Samuel Eto'o and Karim Benzema was their main priority at that time, as the Frenchman had performed exceptionally with French side Olympique Lyon for a couple of seasons.
Txiki Begisristain was the technical secretary at Barcelona then and was in charge of the transfer. He visited the Benzema's house in Lyon in order to secure the services of the sharpshooter.
According to the report, Begisristain was not convinced with Benzema as he did not like his friends or his demeanor during their conversation, even commenting that Benzema did not look at him during their meeting.
Later, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa came in the following seasons as the club was not willing to take a risk. They thought Benzema's attitude and adaptation to Camp Nou will become a problem in the future.
Meanwhile, Madrid swooped in and took a risk with the Frenchman as Benzema joined the club in 2009.
Real Madrid will play against Levante and Barcelona will face Sevilla before facing each other twice in the coming weeks.
Benzema is expected to play a part and will surely play a huge role if Real Madrid comes out on top.Published 19 Feb 2019, 17:15 IST