Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena: A ​blackmail ​allegation and a sex tape -- two French footballers face off in court

Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena.

Paris (CNN)A sex-tape, alleged blackmail and two French soccer stars: as the trial of French striker Karim Benzema kicks off today, it was always going to draw attention.

Benzema, who plays club football for Real Madrid, faces a charge of "complicity in attempted blackmail" against former French national teammate and current Olympiacos midfielder, Mathieu Valbuena, documents from the Versailles prosecutor show.
The three-day trial will see 33-year-old Benzema in the dock alongside four men alleged to have tried to blackmail midfielder Valbuena over a 'sex-tape' video involving the athlete.
    Benzema is accused of pressuring Valbuena -- his then-teammate on the French national team -- to pay blackmailers to prevent the video from going public.
      According to documents from the prosecutor's office, in 2015, Valbuena received an anonymous call at the French national team's training ground outside Paris.
        The caller sought to "make an arrangement" with Valbuena over the ​alleged video but would only do so if the soccer player appointed a trusted intermediary.
        Rather than comply, Valbuena filed a police complaint, after which ​the footballer says he received further calls and messages from the anonymous blackmailer, reiterating the need for a trusted middleman to "sort out this problem," according to documents from the prosecutor's office.