Mathieu Valbuena wants to play with Karim Benzema in the 2016 UEFA European Championship
- Benzema has been currently sidelined from the French national team. He faces a five year prison sentence for his involvement in a scandal.
Mathieu Valbuena, the France midfielder who was the victim of a sex tape blackmail scandal involving Karim Benzema, pointed out on Sunday that he would be willing to play alongside the Real Madrid star in the national team during Euro 2016.
'We will see how it goes, but yes, no problem, anything is possible. It (the blackmail incident) wasn't like it was a murder,' the 31-year-old told television station TF1.
Karim Benzema has been charged with complicity to blackmail and conspiring to commit a criminal act after the French international’s involvement in a sex tape blackmail to his national teammate was uncovered. A 20-minute transcript of a phone conversation that was tapped was released by Daily Mail, UK in November 2015.
Benzema has been sidelined from the French team following the incident.
The 27-year-old star can spend up to a maximum of five years in prison for his involvement in the activity. Benzema has also been banned from meeting Valbuena, a former teammate from Olympique Lyonnais, in person.
Valbuena had admitted that his form has dipped quite noticeably and it might be an uphill task to win his place back at the France national side. He said, “this affair will come up again with the Euros approaching and two France players implicated.”
Having suffered from a thigh injury, Valbuena is currently recovering. He had last played a match for Les Blues in a friendly, which the team won 2-1 in October.
The Olympique Lyonnais player was left out from the national side in November during their friendly matches against Germany and England. France coach, Didier Deschamps said that he wanted to ‘protect’ his player in the wake of the blackmail affair.
“It was hard to accept. At the time, I was angry because I was the victim and was penalised twice. Looking back, I now understand his (Deschamp's) decision. 2015 is behind me now. It's time to move on,” Valbuena said on the blackmail incident.
“The Euros have been our objective for the last two years. We are preparing for them and I don't imagine myself for a second not being involved. There is no guarantee. I have had a chat with the coach but I am not going to discuss what was said. We talked about a lot of things that made me feel better,” the recovering midfielder said.