MESUT OZIL has claimed he mixed up kilometres and miles after he was caught speeding at 97 mph.
The outcasted Arsenal winger, who pockets £350,000-a-week, told a court his ‘concentration must have momentarily lapsed’ while driving along the M1.
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Ozil wrote to magistrates in Bromley, saying: “When attempting to rationalise my actions, I believe it was the combination of the empty road, with no other vehicles to gauge my vehicles speed against, and the misapprehension that I was travelling kmph rather than mph.”
He was caught speeding by police as he headed home from training on July 2 at 11:50am.
PC Paul Scott clocked Ozil’s ‘very distinctive’ Mercedes G-Class driving southbound and stated the Gunners attacker made no comment when he was stopped.
However, the 32-year-old provided a lengthy explanation and apologised to Bromley magistrates’ court after he was served with a notice of prosecution.
Ozil wrote: “Due to the Covid-19 restrictions the motorway was effectively empty.
“The only explanation that I can give is that due to the absence of other vehicles on the road, my concentration must have momentarily lapsed.
“The vehicle I was driving has very low engine noise and it is automatic transmission.
“I am a German national and I am obviously used to driving vehicles that would display speed in kilometres as compared to miles per hour.”
He also claimed he was only on the motorway briefly ahead of exiting it at Mill Hill, stating that a speed of 97kph would only have amounted to around 60mph.
Ozil said: “I do not suggest that this in any way excuses my driving on the day at all — I fully accept that the speed my vehicle was travelling is wholly unacceptable.”
The former Real Madrid player, who has not featured for Arsenal this season after being left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad, did accept he had to be punished.
However, he appealed for a fine rather than a ban as he pointed out his clean driving record.
Ozil added: “I travel to work on a daily basis by car and have personal commitments and a very young baby daughter (7 months old).
“In the current climate I would be very much against travelling on public transport with my baby daughter.
“My wife does not drive and therefore by necessity I will have to undertake the driving to any healthcare appointments for my daughter.”
The 2016 World Cup winner, who lives in Highgate in a mansion worth £10m, pleaded guilty to speeding and will be sentenced later this month.
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