It was a Saturday night that brought bad luck to some of Real Madrid’s star-studded soccer squad. While on the road back home from a painful loss in Granada on February 2, Karim Benzema, Michael Essien, Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Arbeloa and José Callejón passed by a speeding radar more or less at the same time on the M-40 highway. Five kilometers later, near La Finca, the luxurious Madrid neighborhood home to numerous athletes and celebrities, all five players took a routine traffic control breathalyzer test and successfully passed.
But that was not the end of the story for all of the group of players. The Civil Guard cameras had identified three cars, one Audi driven by Benzema, another vehicle driven by Michael Essien, and an unidentified driver in a Porsche, traveling at reckless speeds on that same highway. Essien was ticketed for speeding at 150km/h, a speed 50 percent greater than the established limit and therefore an offense punishable by a 400-euro fine and a loss of four license points. When the Ghanaian player was stopped at the alcohol checkpoint five kilometers later, he opted to pay the fine on the spot, thus paying only 200 euros.
Benzema´s case is another story. The Frenchman was caught speeding at over 216km/h on a stretch of the M-40 beltway with a 100km/h speed limit. Benzema was not originally stopped with Essien, due to his extremely high speed, a safety precaution taken by roadway officers to avoid potential high-speed chases. This is not the first problem with cars for Benzema, who emerged unscathed from an accident that totaled his Audi Q7 back in 2009. His court trial for this offense is scheduled for March 26, the date of the France-Spain qualifier for the 2014 World Cup. That day, the player will face jail time of between three and six months, a fine, the suspension of his driver´s license suspension, or some combination of the three. Regardless of the trial´s outcome, the player´s license will be revoked for eight months.
The case of the Porsche still remains a mystery. Although police confirm that the vehicle was traveling at speeds around 260km/h (over 261mp/h), there is no photo available to identify the driver. Police claim that a small percentage of photos come out blurry when two vehicles travel at very high speeds through the same frame. The only officially released description of the third perpetrator is that the unknown character was a white person driving a Porsche currently leased to the Real Madrid soccer club.