LONDON – Arsenal defender Andre Santos was banned from driving in the UK for 12 months on Thursday after admitting speeding at up to 145mph in rush-hour traffic.
The 29-year-old failed to stop as he was pursued by police and weaved between lanes on a busy motorway on the morning of August 17, a court heard.
The Premier League star evaded officers as he drove his black Maserati on the A1 and M25 in Hertfordshire before he pulled over and was arrested close to Arsenal's training ground, north of London.
Santos, of Church Mount, Barnet, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention during a hearing at Hendon Magistrates' Court in north west London. He was also ordered to pay £3,600 in fines and costs.
The court heard that Pc Chris Hurt and a colleague spotted Santos's Maserati accelerating at high speeds after passing a speed camera on the A41 towards Stirling Corner at around 9.15am.
Prosecutor Inder Gohlar said Santos failed to stop when the officers turned on their police car siren in pursuit of his vehicle, before he drove on to the A1 dual carriageway.
It was estimated that Santos was traveling at speeds in the region of 135mph-145mph - double the road's limit of 70mph.
The Brazil international then drove on to the M25, forcing some drivers to brake quickly to avoid collisions as he moved between the motorway's lanes, the court was told.
Santos eventually pulled over just 400 meters from Arsenal's training ground when he told officers he had been driving quickly as he was late for training, Ms Gohlar said.
He told officers he had been unaware his car was being pursued as his music was playing loudly, she added.
In a statement given to police after his arrest, Santos said: "My music was on loud and I was not paying attention.
"I apologize to the police and for the trouble I've caused."