Mario Balotelli has again been caught speeding in his Ferrari, police told AFP Tuesday as media reports claimed the striker had been caught doing 170-200kmh (105-125mph) in a race with a friend’s Lamborghini.
The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, now at French club Nice, was stopped by a highway patrol on the A4 highway near the northern Italian town of Vicenza on Saturday, a local officer told AFP.
Media reports claimed Balotelli had been doing up to 200kmh but had escaped with a fine and five penalty points because he had only been registered at 170kmh.
The police confirmed the star had been caught and fined, along with the Lamborghini driver, but described accounts of the incident as “exaggerated”.
They would not divulge how fast Balotelli had been going but said he had been allowed to continue his journey after paying his fine and having five penalty points registered on his licence.
Balotelli racked up no fewer than 18 fines for mostly speeding offences in the space of two years in Italy in 2012 and 2013, often on the same A4 road.
In 2015, when he was playing for Liverpool, he was banned from driving for 28 days after being clocked driving at 109mph (175kmh) on the M62 motorway in northern England.
A Vicenza police spokesman said that, in contrast to some of his previous encounters with traffic police, Balotelli had apologised and calmly accepted his punishment.
Wesley Sneijder is excited for the challenge of competing for titles with Nice after being presented to the media on Tuesday afternoon.
The 33-year-old Holland international completed his move to the Ligue 1 outfit after passing a medical on Monday.
In a series of tweets on the official OGC Nice account, Sneijder said: “I always found new challenges in my career. I still want to win titles and I came in Nice for that.
“I am very proud. The reception has been great. I’m here to help. I had a good feeling in training. Nice is a very beautiful city, but I came only for the sport.
“I came to Ligue 1 for the team and the style of play the team wants to play. It was an easy decision.”
Sneijder, who is the most-capped player in Dutch history, was without a club following his release from Galatasaray last month.
The midfielder, who was attracting interest from the Los Angeles Galaxy, has opted to move to the south of France, penning an undisclosed contract.
Sneijder left the Turkish club in the summer after four years, ending his contract early by mutual consent.
He said he made his decision to sign after speaking with head coach Lucien Favre and that he feels he is getting sharper with age.
He added: “I know Mario (Balotelli) but to make my choice I talked with the coach, players and management. Here, there is talent and a great state of mind. That’s what attracted me to Nice.
“The older I get, the better I feel.”
He trained with his new team-mates on Monday and will wear the number 10 shirt at the Allianz Riviera.
“I have long played number 10. The coach knows my qualities, and I play everywhere where he asks me in the middle,” Sneijder said.
Meanwhile, Nice have also announced the signing of France Under-20 international Allan Saint-Maximin from Monaco.
Provided by Press Association
Real Madrid vs Manchester United is a mouthwatering UEFA Super Cup final and is the perfect way to kick-off the season before the domestic football campaign gets underway.
Ahead of the match in Macedonia, both teams have decisions to make over selection and personnel.
What do you make of the key talking points?
Starting with United’s backline…
Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will likely start the game in the heart of Manchester United’s defence after the Red Devils found themselves on the wrong side of UEFA.
Eric Bailly and Phil Jones would most probably be Jose Mourinho’s starting centre-back pairing, but both have been given bans. Mourinho has been experimenting with a back five in pre-season but he might switch back to a traditional four for the final.
Either way it means starts for new signing Lindelof, who has looked shaky in pre-season, alongside the much maligned Smalling.
Towards the end of last season, Zinedine Zidane turned his back on the 4-3-3 formation he had previously used almost exclusively, instead fielding a midfield diamond which allowed Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to control possession while Isco roamed and Casemiro held firm.
It worked superbly and there’s no reason for Zidane to revert back to his former 4-3-3, unless he feels obliged to find a place for Gareth Bale.
Mourinho now has three of the four signings he demanded this summer after bringing his former charge Nemanja Matic (right) in from old club Chelsea last week. The Serbian, importantly, gives United discipline in midfield.
It means Paul Pogba will be allowed to exert his influence on the game, while Ander Herrera is free to be at his creative best, while not being stymied by having to sit back and screen the defence.
Bale’s playing time and position at Real Madrid will depend to a great extent upon whether Zidane decides to give Cristiano Ronaldo his first pre season run-out after being given an extended break following his Confederations Cup involvement with Portugal.
Ronaldo’s rebirth as a centre forward means he is highly unlikely to return to his old left-wing berth.
But if he starts on the bench, Zidane could field Karim Benzema as a lone frontman.
Finding space to attack against a Jose Mourinho team is never easy, but Madrid have a couple of wild cards up their sleeves in the form of Marcelo and
More than any other full-back duo in world football, Madrid’s pair are responsible for giving their team attacking width.
United must be forever diligent in tracking their attacking runs if they want to minimise their influence upon the action.