Benzema won’t be distracted by trying sex tape, says Zidane

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Madrid (AFP)

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has backed forward Karim Benzema to focus “on his work and his family” and not be distracted by a sex tape blackmail trial.

Benzema, 33, is accused of being involved in a conspiracy to extort money from former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena by threatening to release a sex video.

The French star called the trial a “farce”.

“I fully support him, I am with him, I know very well that these are not situations that are easy,” Zidane said at a press conference on Friday.

“The most important thing is that he’s fine, he’s ignoring all of this. He focuses on what he loves, on his job, on his family he loves. ”

The date for the trial of Benzema and four other men has not yet been set.

Benzema has made 81 international appearances for France but has not been selected for his country since the sex tape case was revealed in 2015.

He argued during the lengthy investigation into the charges that a police officer used dishonest methods to get him into the case.

Valbuena, who has been selected 52 times for the Blues and now plays for Greek club Olympiakos, received a call from a blackmailer who threatened to post the video and contacted the police.

Benzema has scored 261 goals for Madrid since joining the Spanish giants in 2009 and has been a key part of the squad that has won the Champions League six times since then.

Meanwhile, it was revealed earlier on Friday that Zidane had tested negative for Covid-19 and was given the green light to oversee Madrid’s game at Osasuna on Saturday.

The French had self-isolated since Thursday after contact with a person infected with the virus.

“I can be with the team today (for training) and travel with them tomorrow,” Zidane said.

Madrid are second in La Liga after a streak of seven wins in eight games.

However, city rivals Atletico are leading the way with a two-point advantage and two games in progress.

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