Marco Reus says that not even he knows what led him not to take a driving test after he was fined €540,000 for driving without a licence.
The Germany international was stopped while driving his Aston Martin on the streets of Dortmund several weeks ago and a check discovered he did not even have the right to be driving.
He has been ordered to pay over half a million euros and will now have to take a driving test – for the first time.
“Back then, I just chose to do things this way,” said the 25-year-old to Germany’s Bild newspaper. “Even I can’t really understand why I did that now.”
The size of the fine is calculated based on Reus’ salary.
His coach Jurgen Klopp told a press conference on Thursday that the midfielder has accepted he made a mistake.
“I spoke to Marco this morning and he is totally understanding about it all,” Klopp said. “He just got led astray for once as a young lad.”
Having made the initial mistake, and since becoming famous – including being used by a car manufacturer to advertised their vehicles – the point was passed when Reus could have registered for a test without anybody becoming suspicious.
“From a certain moment, you can actually understand that, but now he’s been caught and it’s good that it has happened,” Klopp continued.
“He gets an extraordinarily high fine, but that’s also fair enough.
“I’ve known him for many years and he never came across as being somebody who feels he is above the law.”
Reus, who is reported to have received numerous fines for speeding over the years, all of which he has paid immediately, will not face any further punishment from his club in addition to the fine he has been given by the authorities.
“We’ve spoken with Marco and he recognises he has made a mistake and says himself that what he’s done is really stupid,” added Dortmund’s media director Sascha Fligge.
“Since we rate Marco so highly not only as a sportsman, but also as a person, we do not see any reason to doubt what he says.”
Reus, who missed the World Cup due to injury, is currently sidelined until January after tearing ligaments in his ankle.