Thursday Kickoff: Benzema charged with blackmail; Agent says Mourinho will stay at Chelsea; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Benzema charged with blackmail; Agent says Mourinho will stay at Chelsea; and more

European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Benzema charged with blackmail; Agent says Mourinho will stay at Chelsea; and more



After spending a night in custody, Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema received more bad news on Thursday.

According to the Associated Press, Benzema was charged with conspiracy to blackmail and participating in a criminal group, which was attempting to blackmail French teammate Mathieu Valbuena with an alleged sex tape. The 27-year-old was told his charges after appearing before a judge at the Versailles court.

Valbuena first decided to take legal action last year after being contacted by someone who claimed to own an sex tape. It is still unknown as to how involved Benzema was in the blackmail, but investigators think he served as an intermediary between the blackmailers and Valbuena.

“Karim Benzema will show his good faith in this matter as soon as possible,” Benzema’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, said. “He was charged by the judge who notified him that he was a suspect … It is not a declaration of guilt.”

Here are some more news and notes:


According to Jose Mourinho’s agent, the Chelsea head coach is going nowhere following an important win on Wednesday.

The Blues defeated Dynamo Kiev, 2-1, in the UEFA Champions League, keeping the club’s hopes to qualify for the knockout rounds intact. While fans chanted Mourinho’s name after the game to show support for their team’s manager, the Portuguese’s advisor, Jorge Mendes also stood behind his partner and said he will not be parting ways with the club anytime soon.

“He doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody,” Mendes told BBC Sport.

“He knows what to do. Many people are saying these things but there is no chance (he will leave). He will solve the problem. He is the best.”

Chelsea lost six of its first 11 games of the English Premier League season, but a meeting with Stoke City, a team the Blues most recently lost to in the Football League Cup, is on the schedule for Saturday.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s current contract with Real Madrid may not be ending for another couple of years, but according to one report, France appears to be his next destination.

Paris Saint-Germain is reportedly very confident that it can beat out Manchester United to sign the Portuguese star next summer for an estimated $153 million (£100 million) transfer fee, according to The Sun.

This confidence comes on the heels of club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi stating PSG has had no negotiation talks with Ronaldo.

Following PSG’s game with Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, though, Ronaldo was seen speaking with PSG head coach Laurent Blanc and Al-Khelaifi.

In March, a report linked Ronaldo with a move to MLS following the conclusion of Real Madrid’s 2017-18 season. He would be 33 years old if he decided to move to the U.S. then.


Chivas Guadalajara ended a nine-year title drought Wednesday evening.

Defender Oswaldo Alanis scored the game-winning goal for Chivas Guadalajara in the 70th minute to claim the Copa MX Apertura final victory over Leon.

Raul Lopez sent in the free kick from the left wing before Alanis’ header sealed the 1-0 win at Estadio Leon. The title comes as a bit of a surprise to those who have followed Chivas this season, as it had its struggles to start the Apertura campaign.


Everton head coach Roberto Martinez said Bryan Oviedo will be out two-to-three weeks with a hamstring injury. (REPORT)

FIFA launched an anti-doping initiative to help educate players on why they should stay clean. (REPORT)

Goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel said Julio Cesar could receive a call-up to the Brazilian national team. (REPORT)

Brazilian playmaker Willian says Chelsea’s confidence is finally back. (REPORT)

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