Leaked tape appears to implicate Benzema in blackmail plot

Leaked tape reveals Benzema links to blackmailers and his involvement in the plot.

French radio station Europa 1 has released a transcript of a conversation between Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and a friend discussing an alleged sex tape of his France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena

The conversation took place while Benzema was with the French national team at their training base in Clairefontaine. It appears to show the forward explaining to his friend how he tried to negotiate with Valbuena to stop the video from being made public.

Investigators recorded calls calls made by Benzema, who was arrested by French police last week and questioned over allegations that he was involved in a plot to blackmail his international colleague.

Benzema said that he has told Valbuena: “If you want the video to be destroyed, my friend will go and see you in Lyon.”

Benzema added that Valbuena thought it was a joke, before saying: “I don’t think he’s taking us seriously.”

Benzema then told his friend how he convinced Valbuena that it was not a joke, and explained that Valbuena was easily identified by his tattoos.

“I told him: ‘I can help you out. You have to see this guy. You have my word that there are no more copies’”, Benzema continued.

“If you want the video to be destroyed, my friend will go and see you in Lyon and you can sort it out with him directly.”

“But can you see my tattoos in the video?” asked Valbuena, to which Benzema said he replied: “You can see everything.”

The Real Madrid striker then tells his friend that Valbuena started to panic over the conversation, before Benzema added: “You can do whatever you want. Ok, If you don’t want to pay, it’s your life but I have warned you.”

Both Benzema and Valbuena have been left out of the French side for the forthcoming international friendlies with Germany on Friday and England .