Karim Benzema 'calm' in face of Mathieu Valbuena blackmail charges

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema said he was "calm" in the face of charges as part of a wider investigation into an attempt to blackmail his France teammate Mathieu Valbuena, 31, over a sex tape.

The 27-year-old spoke very briefly to reporters on Monday upon his arrival at training and, asked specifically how he was feeling after what happened with Mathieu Valbuena, the France international said:

"I am fine, why? I am very calm."

Asked whether he was affected by everything that was being said, Benzema just waved and did not speak any further.

As a result of the controversy, both players were left out of the France squad for this month's friendly matches against Germany and England.

Benzema, who has denied any wrongdoing, was not selected by Real Madrid for their 3-2 defeat against Sevilla at the weekend. Valbuena, though, played all 90 minutes of Lyon's 3-0 derby win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

Investigators suspect Benzema was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary between blackmailers and Valbuena.

Benzema's lawyer denied reports on Friday that the striker had confessed to telling Valbuena that he should hand over money to people attempting to blackmail him.

According to RMC, the Lyon player is set to appear before an investigating judge on either Nov. 19 or 20 in order to give his side of the story.