Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema playing against Elche on December 30, 2020. /Jose Jordan/AFP
Soccer star Karim Benzema is to face trial for attempted blackmail in a case linked to a sex tape featuring his former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
French prosecutors announced the news on Thursday, five years after the affair first came to light.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid striker is accused of paying individuals to extort money from Valbuena by threatening to make the video public.
Benzema argues that a police officer used dishonest methods to draw him into the affair.
Valbuena, who now plays for Greek club Olympiakos, received a call from a blackmailer who threatened to release the video, and contacted the police.
Benzema has scored 261 goals for Real since joining the Spanish giants in 2009.
He and Valbuena were international teammates at the time of the alleged offence and were in the France squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Benzema has not been selected for his country since the allegations came to light in 2015.
He has 81 international caps and scored 27 goals for his country.
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