Karim Benzema shouldn’t be thought of any differently to any other citizen just because he’s a footballer, however, there’s no denying he has the added burden of coping with the sword of Damocles that his celebrity brings. The presumption of innocence must always, I repeat always, be put first and, should guilt be proven, the law should then deal with the situation accordingly. To date the only evidence we have is that Benzema keeps bad company and is a slave to the unwritten codes that govern the mean streets of his native Lyon. The ties to his past could really affect his future.
His name is getting dragged into shadier and shadier stories, but what role he’s played is still not entirely clear and will likely take some time to become public knowledge. The accusations being launched against him are kangaroo court-esque. The temptation to make an example of a well-known figure gives him an unfair starting point. The future is full of uncertainty for Benzema and his only refuge is the football pitch, the only place an elite player can truly escape. In fact, during the height of the Valbuena episode, he experienced an upsurge in form and began to show a level of maturity that had long been lacking since joining Madrid.