Karim Benzema has revealed that Real Madrid beat Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter to his signature in the summer of 2009 because Los Blancos president Florentino Perez personally visited him at home and sold him an ‘exciting’ vision for the club’s future.

Benzema, who also admitted that he had been dreaming of playing for Real since the age of 15 anyway, has lived that out, winning five Champions League titles and scoring 328 goals so far in all-white.

At 21, the former Lyon talent was hot property on the transfer market. He made his debut for his home town cub shortly after turning 17 and scored 31 goals during the 2007/08 season when he was approaching 20 years old.

United, who had won the Champions League in 2008, reigning European champions Barcelona and Inter, who were building towards winning the Champions League in 2010, all showed interest. Real, meanwhile, hadn’t won a Champions League knockout tie since 2004.