Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema will know his fate as French court issues verdict on whether he conspired to blackmail his former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, in a case that tarnished both their careers.
The allegations against Benzema, which date to 2015, led to him being cast out of the French squad for five years before being brought back into the fold in May in time to play in Euro 2020.
But even a guilty verdict would not likely lead to a further banishment, with French football federation president Noel Le Graet saying Benzema could keep his place in the national team even if convicted.
Prosecutors are calling for him to be given a 10-month suspended sentence.
A conviction would nonetheless cast a pall over a stunning comeback to the national team by the 33-year-old.
Benzema has scored nine times since being called back by France manager Didier Deschamps for the European Championship, making him the fifth-highest scorer in the history of Les Bleus.
He is also having a sensational stint at club level, putting him in the running for the Ballon d’Or, to be announced on November 29th.
He will not be present in court in Versailles for the verdict in his trial, which will be announced a few hours before Real Madrid take on Sheriff Tiraspol in a Champions League game in Moldova.
Valbuena, who plays for Greek club Olympiakos, will also be absent.