Benjamin Mendy has made a return to professional football after two years following the allegations of rape that halted his career.
What happened to Benjamin Mendy?
The former Manchester City defender was arrested for attacking two ladies and hosting parties during the lockdown at his Cheshire mansion while playing for Pep Guardiola‘s side.
The 29-year-old was released with a jury clearing him of six counts of rape and one count of attempted rape after analyzing the case for three good hours.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner would have faced long-term jail if sentenced but had been cleared in January 2023 of six counts of rape and one sexual assault following six months of trial.
Judges in that trial had been unable to conclude two other charges, activating the retrial which he also won.
Mendy, whose deal with current treble winner Man City ended at the end of June 2023 renounced all the accusations against him.
He was allowed to return to football and was signed by Ligue 1 outfit FC Lorient on a two-year deal during the 2023 European summer transfer window shortly after his dismissal.
Benjamin Mendy made his return to football on Sunday, 17th of September in a match against his former club side AS Monaco at the Stade du Moustoir Stadium.
Meanwhile, the last time Mendy played competitive match was in August 2021 during a match between Manchester City and Tottenham where the Premier League champions suffered a 1-0 defeat in North London.
He was withdrawn by the club just 11 days later following the rape allegations and an interrogation.
The 29-year-old was used as a substitution to replace Vincent Le Goff, and that marked his comeback after 25 months away from the beautiful round leather game.
Lorient vs Monaco in brief
The former Monaco defender came on for his new club side in the 70th minute when they were losing by 2-1 but they later managed to secure a point with a 98-minute equalizer from Romain Faivre, who joined the club on loan from AFC Bournemouth.
The defender played a crucial role in Romain Faivre’s stoppage-time equalizer in Brittany as the team held Monaco to a 2-2 draw.
Lorient were leading in the first half after Tosin Aiyegun opened the scoring in just two minutes of play against the Ligue 1 leader.
Monaco struck back with an excellent performance as Aleksandr Golovin equalized after 17 minutes for the visitors.
Lorient were in control of the game until the 69th minute of play when former Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun came on for Monaco and netted following his 38 million pounds move this summer.
However, Lorient fought back with a fine finish from Faivre who was assisted by Benjamin Mendy.
Mendy has played 10 times for the French national team and was part of the squad that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
What’s next for Benjamin Mendy?
The 29-year-old will be looking forward to securing a place in Lorient’s starting XI when they face Nantes in the 2023/2024 French Ligue 1 campaign on Saturday, 24th of September.