• Soccer: What is the Valbuena case and why is it splashing Benzema?

The Versailles Prosecutor's Office requested on Thursday that the Real Madrid player Karim Benzema be tried for "complicity in an attempt to blackmail" for his alleged involvement in the blackmail of his then team-mate Matthieu Valbuena, his lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told EFE.

Cormier noted that the prosecution's demand is based on unfounded purposes that do not respond to reality.

"It is no surprise, the Attorney General has been very involved in this matter, it is evident, so we expected him to ask to go to trial, although the accusations are not based on reality," said Cormier, who had not yet informed his client, who was in full training when the news broke.

Benzema has been involved in this controversial issue for several years after Matthieu Valbuena denounced in 2015 having been blackmailed with the existence of a video of sexual content in which he appeared, and threatened to make it public.

According to the prosecution's account, the promoters of the blackmail first resorted to former soccer player Djibril Cissé, also charged in the investigation with Karim Zenati, Benzema's childhood friend and three other people.

As Cissé did not convince Valbuena to pay, they turned to Zenati to persuade Benzema to act as an intermediary.

In a gathering of the "bleus" in October of that year, the two teammates discussed this matter. Benzema advised him to pay, depending on his version, to avoid problems.

The Real Madrid striker, who has seen his career in the French national team stymied by this story, twice appealed to Justice in hopes of burying the accusation that was pursuing him, but the Supreme Court definitively rejected it in December.

The magistrates of the highest judicial instance considered that the investigators did not cross the legitimate limits to obtain evidence of their involvement, contrary to what the player intended.

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