Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema received the backing of his club on Thursday, just hours after being charged in connection with a sex tape extortion case. The 27-year-old was released by French prosecutors on Thursday after a blackmail case involving a sex tape featuring fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena was brought to the fore.
Despite the player pictured training alone, Real Madrid's president leapt to the defence of the French international.
"Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, held a meeting with the player in which he gave him his full support and expressed his confidence that his actions were in good faith and that he is completely innocent," said a statement released by the Spanish giants.
"The club values and recognises the professional commitment, the displays of camaraderie with his team-mates and the impeccable attitude he has shown as a core member of the first team squad for the more than six seasons that he has been a part of Real Madrid."
Real Madrid said that Benzema, who is still recovering from injury, had trained on his own, jogged and carried out various exercises.
A source in the French criminal investigation said Benzema had admitted approaching Valbuena about the sex tape "on behalf of a childhood friend" who himself had been contacted by blackmailers in possession of the tape, who were seeking to extort money.
But Benzema's lawyer said his client was "innocent"..