Christian Benteke - Player Profile

Villa’s Dangerman At Wembley

Personal information
Full name: Christian Benteke Liolo
Date of birth: 3 December 1990
Age: 24
Place of birth: Kinshasa, Zaire
Height: 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position: Striker 

Club information
Current team: Aston Villa 
Number: 20

Youth career 
1996–2004: JS Pierreuse
2004–2006: Standard Liege
2006–2007: Genk

Senior career
2007–2009: Genk 10 Appearances, 1 goal
2009–2011: Standard Liege 25 Appearances, 4 goals
2009–2010 → Kortrijk (loan) 38 Appearances, 16 goals
2010–2011 → Mechelen (loan) 20 Appearances, 7 goals
2011–2012: Genk 41 Appearances, 20 goals
2012– Aston Villa 100 Appearances, 49 goals

National team
2007: Belgium U17 11 Appearances, 6 goals
2007–2008: Belgium U18 7 Appearances, 4 goals
2008–2009: Belgium U19 10 Appearances, 10 goals
2009–2012: Belgium U21 9 Appearances, 4 goals
2010– Belgium 21 Appearances, 7 goals

Aston Villa’s performance in the FA Cup final against Arsenal will shape Christian Benteke’s stance heading into talks about his future this summer. Benteke is desperate to play European football and victory over Arsene Wenger’s side will secure Villa passage into the Europa League as well as a major piece of silverware.

Benteke began his career at Standard Liege, playing a part in their 2008–09 Belgian First Division triumph. However, since joining Villa for £8m from Genk in 2012, the Belgian hasn’t looked back, scoring an impressive 49 goals in 99 games for the Villains. Benteke holds a strong desire to perform in Europe and further up the table. He has kept Aston Villa in the top flight for the past three season’s now and the 24 year old might just be ready to move on to great prospects in his career. He would be gambling with his place at Euro 2016 were he to leave Aston Villa this summer, Tim Sherwood has told the Belgian striker. Sherwood believes Benteke is best staying at Villa Park given his ambitions to play at a major international tournament, having missed out on last year’s World Cup through injury.

After Immigrating to Belgium from DR Congo, the first club he joined was JS Pierreuse in 1996 at the tender age of six. His Development as a kid was tremendously impressive, but this sometimes led to cause a problem. Benteke sometimes had to show his ID for confirmation of his age. He was having a flying career at JS Peerreuse, a successful one. He stayed in JS Pierreuse till 2004, until he moved towards Standard Liege and after a two year spell; he left for club Genk in 2006. However, Benteke Did return to Standard liege in 2008, because, he couldn’t have his career as he wanted In Genk, as he only featured for ten games in that initial three year spell. The very first season after returning, he managed to score a total of three goals by featuring in nine games. The Following season was a turning point for the big striker as he was sent on loan at KV Kortrijk for the 2009-10 season, where he managed to score nine goals by starting 22 games. He was again sent on loan at KV Mechelen in the 2010-2011 season, scoring six goals by featuring twenty three games in total. These two loan spells kick-started Benteke’s career as he drew much attention. He had a lot of movement between Standard Liege and Genk, as he again returned to Genk in 2011-12, more excitingly his first game was against Standard Liege. In that season he scored 16 times in 36 appearances.

Still only 22 with an impressive record in his home country, Benteke was attracting interest from a variety of clubs around the footballing world. But it was Villa who snapped him up in what now seems to be a bargain fee. His debut season was a success, causing bigger clubs to become interested. This apparent interest caused the Belgian to hand in a transfer request, before he performed a miraculous u-turn two weeks later, when he withdrew it and signed a new four-year contract. The 2013-14 season was however, a disappointment, as injuries meant that Benteke had to sit out 12 games. As he had to regain match fitness after returning from injury, and with Villa flirting with relegation, he could only manage to bag 11 goals in all competitions. This run of form seemed to continue into the 2014-15 campaign. However, the Belgian striker has scored 12 goals in his last 11 matches for Villa, after suffering a frustrating time in front of goal since returning from injury prior to Sherwood’s appointment as manager at Villa Park in February.

On the international front, Benteke was member for the Belgium U17 team at the 2007 Fifa U-17 World Cup in South Korea where he played three games and scored once. On 19 May 2010, he made his senior debut for the Belgian national team in a friendly match against Bulgaria in Brussels after his former coach at Kortrijk, Georges Leekens, became national coach. On 15 August 2012, he scored his first goal in a 4–2 win against the Netherlands. Since then, he has become a regular starter for Belgium under Marc Wilmots. On 29 May 2013, he scored twice in a 4–2 friendly victory against the United States in Cleveland, Ohio. He scored two goals in seven appearances during qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but was ruled out of the tournament finals with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Benteke returned to Belgium's squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, scoring his first international goal after two years in a 5–0 defeat of Cyprus on 28 March 2015.
There’s no doubt Benteke has a goal-scoring touch. Big, strong, powerful, pacey with an eye for goal; Benteke will surely cause Arsenal all sorts of problems when the two sides face off this weekend.