Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has welcomed a trial date being set for his alleged blackmailing of former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The Frenchman has not featured for France since 2015, when he was accused of extorting Valbuena over a sex tape in which the then-Marseille player appeared.
On Tuesday, the Versailles prosecutor’s office confirmed that Benzema will face trial from October 20-22.
Benzema reacted to the trial date being set on his Instagram story, saying: “Yes, finally, let’s go. Let the masquerade end forever.
In 2015, Benzema allegedly pressured Valbuena to pay off blackmailers who were threatening to release a sex tape in which the latter appeared.
Rather than deal with the blackmailers, however, Valbuena alerted the authorities. Benzema said at the time he was only trying to help his France team-mate.
As part of the fallout, Benzema was axed from the national team and six years later, he has yet to earn another call-up for Les Bleus despite his outstanding form for Madrid.
Benzema has since missed out on multiple major tournaments, including Euro 2016 in his homeland and France’s successful run to the World Cup title in 2018.
During his France career, Benzema scored 27 goals for his country in 81 caps.