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Karim Benzema To Serve Jail Term, Here’s Why



Karim Benzema To Serve Jail Term, Here's Why

France and Real Madrid FC forward, Karim Benzema was on Wednesday sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term.

He was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate over a sex tape.

The Versailles court also fined him 75,000 euros ($84,170) and ordered him to pay former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena 80,000 euros to cover legal costs and 150,000 euros in damages together with his three other co-accused.

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Benzema’s lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict.

Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court. He is due to play for Real Madrid against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol later in the day.

“This outcome in no way corresponds with the reality of events,” lawyer Antoine Vey told reporters afterward.

Real Madrid declined to comment.

Earlier this month, President of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, said Benzema would not be excluded from the national team if he was convicted and given the suspended sentence prosecutors wanted.

“The coach will always be responsible for his selection and Benzema will not be left out because of an eventual judicial sanction,” Le Graet told Le Parisien.

Prosecutors had argued that Benzema had encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

They said Valbuena received the first of several phone calls threatening to expose the tape in June 2015.

Valbuena told the court it was clear the caller wanted money and that the blackmail attempt left him fearing for his career and place in the national squad.

Benzema was recruited by the alleged blackmailers to encourage Valbuena to pay as his teammate stalled, the prosecution had added.

Benzema had shown no goodwill to Valbuena and pretended to have his best interests at heart, the judges said in their written ruling.

Benzema had “deliberately helped the authors of the attempted blackmail of Valbuena,” they added.

Benzema and Valbuena both lost their places in the national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the “sex tape affair”.

Benzema, 33, who has played more than 90 times for his country, was recalled to the France squad for this year’s European Championship.

Among Benzema’s co-defendants were childhood friend Karim Zenati, who acted as an intermediary, and Mustapha Zouaoui, one of the suspected architects of the scam.

All four defendants were found guilty in connection with the attempted blackmail. 

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Carrick Bids Farewell To Man United After 15 Years



Carrick Bids Farewell To Man United After 15 Years

Micheal Carrick on Thursday announced his departure from Manchester United after 15-year spell as player and manager at the club.

He disclosed this after his 3-2 victory against London side “Arsenal”, as Ralf Rangnick is expected to take over from him as the new Head Coach

“My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career.

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“When I first signed over 15 years ago, never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies. I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.

“However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time to leave.

“I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.

Carrick also wished his replacement and players at the club success, as he promises to show support in the stands as a fan.

Ralf Rangnick is expected to coach the team in their Sunday game against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The German coach has managed different Bundesliga sides, with the likes of Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig.

Manchester United football director, ‘ John Murtough’ thanks Carrick as he departs the club as a legend.

“Michael leaves with the sincerest thanks and best wishes of everyone at Manchester United after 15 years of exceptional service.

“While we are sad to see him go, we respect and understand Michael’s decision.

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2021 Ballon D’or: Football Fans Criticise Award Organisers For Awarding Messi



Ballon D'or: Former Winner Disappointed Over Lewandowski Snub

Robert Lewandowski and FC Bayern Munich did their best to hide their disappointment after Lionel Messi beat him to the Ballon d’Or.

However, former Bayern star, Lothar Matthaeus, was adamant the Poland striker should have won.

Lewandowski was awarded the new striker of the year award at the gala in Paris on Monday after journalists had decided France Football’s big prize should go to Lionel Messi for a record-extending seventh time.

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Messi won a major international honour this year as Argentina captured Copa America but Matthaeus was staggered that Lewandowski’s record 41 goals in a Bundesliga season were not enough for the Ballon d’Or.

“Honestly, I don’t understand the world anymore after this vote.

“I have huge respect for Messi and the other great players who were nominated, but nobody deserved it more than Lewandowski,” former Germany player Matthaeus, who won the prize while at Inter Milan in 1990, told Sky.

Lewandowski’s claims to the Ballon d’Or were strengthened by the fact most pundits accepted he would have won it in 2020 had the award not been cancelled because of Covid-19.

Last year he led Bayern to a Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble with another glut of goals.

He at least won FIFA’s rival player of the year award in 2020 and was magnanimous as he picked up his striker gong at the Chatelet Theatre.

“I am very proud to be here. I have to say thanks to my teammates, my coach and above all the fans. And a very special thanks to my family,” said the 33-year-old.

To be fair to Messi, he realised he was fortunate to take another Ballon d’Or after only winning the Copa del Rey with troubled Barcelona last season before switching to Paris Saint-Germain.

“It is an honour to be here with you. You have broken records and would have also deserved to win the Ballon d’Or. You had an unbelievable year,” he said to Lewandowski.

Bayern chief executive, Oliver Kahn, was as diplomatic as possible.

“Congratulations to Lionel Messi.

“But along with his striker of the year award, Robert Lewandowski would have also deserved the Ballon d’Or because for years he has been absolutely outstanding every day,” he said.

Bayern also saw Jamal Musiala finish third in the Kopa Trophy young player vote behind winner Pedri of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund’s England midfielder, Jude Bellingham.

Manuel Neuer was fifth in the best goalkeeper category.

Below is a list of the top ten winners at the 2021 Ballon d’Or awards:

1. Lionel Messi (ARG/PSG)

2. Robert Lewandowski (POL/Bayern Munich)

3. Jorginho (ITA/Chelsea)

4. Karim Benzema (FRA/Real Madrid)

5. N’Golo Kante (FRA/Chelsea)

6. Cristiano Ronaldo (POR/Juventus – Manchester United)

7. Mohamed Salah (EGY/Liverpool)

8. Kevin De Bruyne (BEL/Manchester City)

9. Kylian Mbappe (FRA/Paris SG)

10. Gianluigi Donnarumma (ITA/AC Milan – Paris SG)

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How To Livestream Ballon d’Or 2021 Ceremony



How To Livestream Ballon d'Or 2021 Ceremony

Tonight (Monday, November 29, 2021), the Ballon d’Or 2021 winners would be unveiled.

Newsrand understands that the most prestigious individual awards in football would be held after a-year hiatus caused by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

What you should know about Ballon d’Or 2021

Lionel Messi was the last player to win the award, earning the honour in 2019; he and his rival Cristiano Ronaldo have shared 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or trophies. Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric is the only man to have broken their duopoly, winning in 2018, but he is not among the 30 finalists in 2021.

There are 20 nominees for the women’s Ballon d’Or. Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema are among the front-runners. 

Programme schedule

• 4.30 pm – 7.00 pm: The beginning of revelation ranking list. (starting at spot 30, and so on)

• 7.00 pm: The red carpet.

• 8.30 pm – 10.00 pm: Starting of ceremony, the announcement of Kopa Trophy, Yachine Trophy, Women’s Ballon d’Or & Men’s Ballon d’Or.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony will be hosted by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, accompanied by French journalist Sandy Heribert.

How to watch Ballon d’Or 2021

The Ballon d’Or ceremony would be streamed live online via L’Equipe’s YouTube channel. Eurosport will also be streaming the award on its website and the Eurosport app.

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