Karim Benzema to face trial for alleged involvement in attempted blackmail case

Real Madrid forward Benzema is accused of paying individuals to extort money from Mathieu Valbuena by threatening to make the video public in 2015.

The 33-year-old French striker argues that a police officer used dishonest methods to draw him into the affair.

He has not played for his country since it came to light.

French prosecutors announced Benzema would face trial on Thursday, reported the AFP News Agency.

AFP also quoted Benzema’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, as saying he was not surprised the matter was going to trial, but that the decision was “as absurd as it was predictable”.

Benzema has scored 261 goals for Real since joining the Spanish side in 2009.

He and Valbuena were international team-mates at the time of the affair and were in the France squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Valbuena, 36, was playing for Lyon at the time but is now with Greek side Olympiakos.

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