Born in the French territory of New Caledonia, he was a vital player in the French team that won the 1998 World Cup. In Euro 2000, he was on the squad as well but played only one game. He compiled 53 caps in his career, earning his first one on 14 November 1992 against Finland in a 2–1 victory.
Christian Karembeu is a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
Deeply involved in Peace and Sport’s activities, Christian Karembeu visited Haiti in August 2010 with Founder and President of Peace and Sport, Joel Bouzou, to strengthen the role of sport in the country's reconstruction efforts and attract the attention of the international community to urgent needs that prevail there. He went to meet sports instructors and young beneficiaries of the emergency program that the Haitian Olympic Committee has set up in survivor camps.
The great-grandfather of Christian Karembeu, who came from New Caledonia, was one of the hundred islanders taken to Paris and exhibited there as "cannibals" by the French people. Later the "cannibals" were swapped with Germany for some crocodiles.
Christian Karembeu is the host of French TV series "Des Iles et des Hommes" (Of Islands and Men), aired on Planete in 2010 and 2011, a travel programme visiting among 6 of the most beautiful islands of the world.