Madrid Star likely to get France recall after years in exile for sex-tape scandal

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Karim Benzema could make a sensational return to the France national team for this summer’s European Championship.

The Real Madrid striker has been exiled by manager Didier Deschamps since 2015 after his alleged role in the sex-tape blackmail of former team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

L’Equipe report that Deschamps is now considering the possibility of bringing Benzema in from the cold.

Les Bleus enter the tournament among the favourites and Benzema, 33, has been one of Real’s standout players this season.

It would mark a surprising U-turn from Deschamps in the wake of the scandal that saw him drop the forward six years ago.

Benzema is suspected of encouraging Valbuena to co-operate with blackmailers, who threatened to release an intimate video in which he featured.

Investigators who charged Benzema believe he was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena informed the police.

When the story broke, Benzema faced a deluge of criticism and then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the former Lyon player had ‘no place’ in the national team. He has been unable to repair relations and return for his country.

It is understood that Benzema will go on trial from Wednesday, October 20 to Friday, October 22 this year. He denies any wrongdoing and four other people will also stand trial in the case.

Originally, it was reported that Benzema would face trial in January. At the time, he posted a screenshot of a story by L’Equipe about the update and asked his 36.9million Instagram followers when will the ‘farce’ come to an end.

Reacting to news of the trial, Benzema’s lawyer Sylvian Cormier described the decision as ‘absurd’.

Despite the case hanging over him, the veteran striker has produced one of his best campaigns with 29 goals in all competitions so far.

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