Former Chelsea and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack has told a Spanish court that he cannot pay a £8,000 speeding fine "because he is unemployed".
Ballack, 36, earned up to £120,000 week during his long career, but recently retired from football after leaving Bayer Leverkusen.
“Just because he is a famous footballer doesn’t mean he has any money coming in," said lawyer Jesus Gallego Rol.
Rol added that driving at speed is not a crime in Ballack’s homeland of Germany.
Ballack, who joined Chelsea from Bayern Munich in 2006 and earned between £80,000 and £120,000 a week during his four-year stay in West London, also faces a two-year driving ban for the offence.
He was widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world but a serious ankle injury ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup, after which he left Chelsea before spending two injury-ravaged seasons at Leverkusen.