Skip to main content

Real Madrid striker Benzema clocked at high speed, could lose driver's license

By Al Goodman, CNN
February 28, 2013 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
Karim Benzema signed for Real Madrid from French team Lyon in 2009.
Karim Benzema signed for Real Madrid from French team Lyon in 2009.
  • Police say Karim Benzema was clocked at 216 kph in a 100-kph zone on a Madrid highway
  • Authorities did not immediately pursue Benzema because of safety concerns, police say
  • They say they tracked him down using the vehicle's license plate
  • He could lose his license for at least a year, be jailed or fined, or face community service

Madrid (CNN) -- He's fast on the football field but apparently even faster behind the wheel.

Real Madrid star striker Karim Benzema was clocked driving 216 kilometers per hour (about 134 mph) -- more than double the speed limit -- before dawn on February 3 on a Madrid highway, and he could lose his license for at least a year, a Traffic Directorate spokeswoman told CNN.

Civil Guard vehicles clocked and photographed the alleged speeding offense of Benzema in a 100 kph (62 mph) zone on the M40 ring road in western Madrid, said the spokeswoman, who by custom is not identified.

Benzema was driving an Audi. The company is an official sponsor of Real Madrid, and all players on the first team have an Audi at their disposal, a Real Madrid spokesman said.

The Civil Guard radar trap consisted of two sets of vehicles, one on the highway with a radar camera, which Benzema passed quickly, and a second down the road.

Authorities did not immediately pursue Benzema, because of darkness and safety concerns for other drivers. But they did get the license plate number and later tracked the vehicle to him, the traffic spokeswoman said.

The incident occurred hours after Real Madrid suffered an unexpected loss to Granada in a league match, on the evening of February 2.

Real Madrid would not comment on the incident other than to say that club policy lets the player directly handle a traffic violation.

Spanish media reported that Benzema, 25, a French international, made an initial appearance before an investigating magistrate Thursday.

The sanctions could include losing his driver's license for one to four years. In addition, he could receive up to six months in jail, a fine, or several weeks or months of community service, the traffic spokeswoman said.

Benzema did not play in Real Madrid's victory over archrivals FC Barcelona last Tuesday in the semifinals of Spain's Copa de Rey, or King's Cup, but the club spokesman said that was a decision of coach Jose Mourinho and was unrelated to the alleged traffic violation.

Some Spanish media reported that a second vehicle was speeding alongside Benzema's that night, but the traffic spokeswoman said Civil Guards are aware of only the vehicle that Benzema was driving.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.