The former left-back of OM, who also passed through Monaco and Manchester City, is accused of eight rapes, an attempted rape and a sexual assault in England By La Provence (with AFP) A football world champion accused of eight rape, attempted rape and sexual assault in England: Benjamin Mendy’s trial opens this Wednesday in Chester, far from the lawns where the Frenchman had a turbulent career. The 28-year-old footballer is accused by seven women and denies the ten charges, which relate to events that allegedly took place between October 2018 and August 2021 at his home in Prestbury, Cheshire. He is on trial alongside another man, Louis Saha Matturie – unrelated to former footballer Louis Saha -, prosecuted for eight rapes and four sexual assaults on eight women between July 2012 and August 2021. The latter also pleaded not guilty. Winner of the 2018 World Cup with the France team, where he played the role of good comrade if not one of the key players, Benjamin Mendy left the lawns for almost a year for the dock and prison cells in Liverpool and Manchester, where he spent more than four months, from August 2021 to January 2022, in pre-trial detention. Released in early January, he had been placed under judicial supervision pending trial. Mendy has not played a single football match since August 15, 2021 with his club Manchester City, who suspended him at the start of the case. The career of the native of Longjumeau, in the Paris region, had however followed, until then, an upward trajectory, with a long-term contract in one of the best European clubs, Manchester City, a world title with the France team, but also several trophies in England and a surprise victory in Ligue 1 in 2017 with AS Monaco and his Monegasque partner Kylian Mbappé. respective, bon vivant always ready to turn on his portable speakers and play the role of DJ in the bus or the locker room, to start a dance to celebrate the slightest goal of his teammates or multiply the “stories” on Instagram, he l hyperactive social networks. On the field, he is a powerful left-back, focused on attack and dangerous in percussion, even if he sometimes struggles to control his weight and experiences some periods of physical malformity, negligence regularly noted by his coaches. physical glitches, above all, caught up with him in his early twenties, between serious right knee injury before the 2018 World Cup, left operation four months later, then another meniscus affected in early 2019. “I do not despair” that he “takes more care of his body”, the pique besides the coach Didier Deschamps in November 2019, when he reminds at the Blues the one to whom he had granted only about forty minutes of play during the epic of the Tricolors in Russia, in 2018, as a stunt double for Lucas Hernandez. mentioned in the local press. “They are old enough to know what they have to do, I am not his father. I would prefer him to come home early, but I do not control the players in this situation”, had lamented the Spanish technician about of his defender recruited for 58 million euros in 2017, who also made the front page of the ruthless English tabloids in 2020, when his Lamborghini was seized, driven without a license or insurance by the French international. Trained in Le Havre before a stint in Marseille (2013-2016), preamble to his triumphant season in Monaco, Mendy will never have succeeded in breaking into the French team: he has only 10 selections in the blue jersey, only one since 2018. Four years later , the laughing smile of Moscow gave way to the grin of the courtrooms of the west of England, where the ex-promise of the France team faces ten counts, including eight for rape.