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Mathieu Valbuena reflects on ‘difficult’ Karim Benzema scandal

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Mathieu Valbuena has opened up on his legal battle with Karim Benzema but says his countryman deserves this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Benzema was found guilty of blackmailing Valbuena over a sex tape last year. A years-long legal case ended with the jury handing the Real Madrid star a suspended prison sentence and a €75,000 fine.

Valbuena, who currently plays at Olympiacos, says he doesn’t hold a grudge against his former France teammate.

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“I don’t hold a grudge at all. I always said what I had to say,” the 37-year-old RMC Sport“It was a difficult time, but one from which I was able to recover. Now everyone goes their own way.”

Asked about Benzema’s chances of winning the 2022 Ballon d’Or, he responded: “It would be dishonest to say that Benzema does not deserve the Ballon d’Or.

“Yes, he deserves it. I can speak objectively on a sporting level, and I can do it happily. There is no problem.”

Benzema is the number one favourite to win this year’s Ballon d’Or after his incredible campaign at Real Madrid. The Frenchman scored 44 goals across all competitions to help the Blancos win their 14th Champions League title while also claiming the La Liga trophy.