A speed camera in Spain caught Michael Ballack going 131 mph (where the speed limit is 75 mph) with his Audi U7 in October and now he's trying to get his fine reduced because he's retired and has no income. [UPDATE: Ballack has since fired his lawyer for making this claim.]
From the Telegraph:
At his initial court hearing the day after his arrest, his legal team were told that he faced a two-year driving ban and an £8,000 fine.
But at a second hearing yesterday, which the 36 year-old did not have to attend because the offence does not lead to a potential jail term, his lawyer, Jesús Gallego Rol, requested that the fine be cut to £800 because Ballack has no income since he was released by Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.
"Just because he is a famous footballer doesn't mean he has any money coming in," said Rol, who also pointed out that driving at high speed is tolerated on German motorways.
Ballack recently went through what was probably a rather costly divorce, but he was employed over the summer as an analyst for ESPN during Euro 2012. Still, it seems unlikely that the "I'm just a recently retired world-famous footballer who made millions over his 17-year career did something that is totally OK in Germany" defense will work.
This will probably be the only kind of fast driving he'll be doing in Spain for while...
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- Michael Ballack