Benzema hit with driving ban for speeding

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been banned from driving for eight months and fined 18,000 euros after he was clocked at almost twice the speed limit last month, court authorities said on Friday.

The France international was caught driving at 194.4 kph in a 100 kph zone, authorities said after a hearing at a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon just outside the Spanish capital.

The hearing was originally set for March 26 but was brought forward as France are hosting Spain in a World Cup 2014 qualifier in Paris that day.

Benzema is not the only Real player to fall foul of Spain's traffic laws in recent weeks.

Their Brazilian full-back Marcelo was fined 6,000 euros this month after he was caught driving without a valid licence.

The two incidents, as well as recent transgressions by other high-profile players including former Germany captain Michael Ballack, have drawn criticism from a Spanish association which supports victims of traffic accidents.

The group criticised Real captain Iker Casillas for driving with a cast on his injured hand and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique for carrying his infant son in the front seat without the proper safety equipment.