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In France, a New Star is Born
Reuters, December 19th, 2007 3:45PM

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He's only just turned 20, but striker Karim Benzema has already developed into the main attacking threat at French champion Lyon. The France striker has been a revelation this year, topping the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 12 goals in 18 matches. Recently, Benzema notched two goals and an assist in the 3-0 thrashing Lyon handed to Rangers in the Champions League, thereby dumping the Scottish giant out of the competition.

In an interview with Reuters, Benzema, who turns 20 Wednesday, said, "I know where I want to go and that's very, very high, right to the top." He looks to be on his way, too: at Lyon, the young Benzema has already emerged as one of the team's leaders. "I'm not the young kid making his debut anymore," he said. "Everybody trusts me. When Lyon concede a goal, the older guys such as [Brazil midfielder] Juninho or [France forward] Sidney [Govou] talk to the others on the field. Now, I do that as well."

Benzema's success has caught the eye of several big clubs in Europe, but the youngster claims he won't be leaving the six-time French champion until he helps it win the Champions League. His Lyon contract lasts through 2012.

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