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Valbuena insists he has turned the page regarding the infamous blackmail scandal involving Benzema

Karim Benzema’s former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena has delivered an interesting verdict regarding the Ballon d’ot.

Despite his past vendetta with Benzema, Valbuena has endorsed the Real Madrid star for the Ballon d’or in a remarkable show of class.

Last year, Benzema was found guilty of a blackmail plot targeting Valbuena, in a case that dates back more than three years ago.

Mathieu Valbuena in Olympiacos colours in the past.

Benzema has since been handed a one-year suspended jail sentence, but has continued to thrive on the football pitch.

Speaking on his former international teammate’s chances, Valbuena admitted Benzema, who recently won the Champions League with Real Madrid, deserved it.

“It would not be honest to say he doesn’t deserve the Ballon d’Or,” Valbuena told RMS Sport.

“Yes, he deserves the Ballon d’Or. I can objectively speak about football and I can also talk about something which has happened before. Either we talk about football or what happens off the pitch.”

Benzema only recently returned to action for France after more than five years away from his national team.

For Valbuena, 37, he has not featured for his country since 2015, but is still active on club level, playing for Greek giants Olympiakos.

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