Europe 1 with AFP 5:37 p.m., May 23, 2022

Manchester City's French international defender Benjamin Mendy pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault charges in a British court on Monday.

The 27-year-old is the subject of nine charges relating to facts which allegedly took place between October 2018 and August 2021.

"Not guilty".

This is what Benjamin Mendy repeated several times before the court in Chester in the north-west of England.

The French Manchester City player therefore denies the seven rapes, the attempted rape and the sexual assault of which he is accused by six women.

The facts allegedly took place between October 2018 and August 2021 at his home in Prestbury, Cheshire.

After spending several months in pre-trial detention, the 2018 world champion was released in early January and placed under judicial supervision, pending his trial which is due to open on July 25.

The case started at the end of August 2021 when the Manchester City club announced the suspension of the player, under contract until June 2023, without further explanation.

English justice then quickly announced that the player had been remanded in custody following the charges against him.

Various extra-sporting escapades

Trained in Le Havre, revealed in Marseille and spent a season with Monaco, Benjamin Mendy became the most expensive defender in history in 2017 when the Citizens paid 52 million pounds (about 61.4 million euros at the current price). ) to secure his services.

When he arrived in England, he was considered one of the great French and world hopes for the left-back position, but between injuries and extra-sporting escapades, his career never really took off.

In the fall of 2020, justice had seized his Lamborghini, worth more than 500,000 euros, which he was driving without a license or insurance.

In this case, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a fine of just over 1000 euros.