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Valbuena: I have not thought about Benzema

Mathieu Valbuena is determined to prove himself at Lyon and win back his place in the France team as he seeks to forget an unhappy 2015-16 season.

Valbuena, 31, was not selected by Didier Deschamps for Euro 2016 on home soil.

His compatriot Karim Benzema, infamously, was also absent from the European Championship after being charged as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to blackmail Valbuena over a sex tape. 

The attacking midfielder has acknowledged, unsurprisingly, the previous campaign was one to forget, professionally and personally.

“It was a s***** season,” he told France 2.

“The Benzema thing? It was not easy – you have to be strong. I have no complaint against him, and we have not met since. Frankly, I haven’t thought about it since the end of the Euro.

“I watched all the matches of Les Bleus. For me, the France team, it’s not over, well not like that anyway,” he added, referring to his hopes of a national team recall.

Valbuena is yet to start in Ligue 1 this season after being made available for transfer in the off-season, but the former Marseille playmaker wants to stay and prove himself at Parc OL.

“I’ll do everything to succeed in Lyon,” he said.

“It is a great club which is well structured, has good young players and a beautiful stadium. 

“I was surprised to be placed on the transfer list. I have not been informed by anyone, I heard that I had not shaken hands with [club president Jean-Michel] Aulas.”

Mon 19 Sep, 2016
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