Mathieu Valbuena says he’s ‘ready to turn the page’ after Karim Benzema appeal dropped

A final twist and a “relief” for Matthew Valbuena. The sextape blackmail case of which he was the victim is coming to an end: Karim Benzema has announced that he is giving up appealing his conviction. The former Marseillais reacted to RMC on Tuesday June 7, expressing his eagerness to “turn the page”. “It’s finally a chapter that ends (…) I was tired of all this and I suffered a lot”he explained.

Last November, Karim Benzema was found guilty of complicity in attempted blackmail against his former teammate in the France team. He was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros.

The Olympiakos player says he was penalized on a sporting level, especially vis-à-vis the Blues. “It cost me the France team”he regretted. Six and a half years have passed since the events, which occurred in the middle of a French team rally at the Clairefontaine training center (Yvelines) in October 2015, when Benzema exchanged with his teammate about a compromising video.

Valbuena, who has 52 caps, has not been called up since October 2015 and a last friendly match against Denmark. “It’s true that it was Euro 2016 in France (…) Obviously when you taste being international and playing for your country, it’s something strong. I would have hoped to have another end with the France team but it was like that. That’s how it is, it’s my career.”

He assumes his choice to have launched the legal action. “I have no regrets in having simply filed a complaint”he said. “Me, I’m not being blackmailed at all (…) It’s my private life and it’s nobody’s business.”

He also assures that he does not blame his former teammate: “I don’t hold a grudge at all and I always said what I had to say about what happened. I’m not going to go back over this long affair but the most important thing for me is to turn the page.”

Mathieu Vabuena even wishes good things on the sporting level to Karim Benzema, who allowed Real Madrid to win the Champions League. : “It wouldn’t be fair to say he doesn’t deserve the Ballon d’Or. Yes, he does deserve the Ballon d’Or. I can speak objectively on a sporting level.”

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