VfL Wolfsburg have reportedly fined Germany striker Max Kruse 25,000 euros ($27,805) after he left 75,000 euros in cash in a bag during an early morning taxi ride through Berlin.
The 27-year-old, who is a keen poker player, reportedly forgot the huge amount of cash in a holdall in the back of a cab in the early hours of October 18 last year.
News that Kruse had lost so much money only came to light when he lodged a complaint in February with Berlin’s police, who are investigating, but his employers have taken a dim view of his carelessness.
“Some people would have never seen so much money in their lives and certainly not in cash,” Wolfsburg’s director of sport Klaus Allofs told German daily Bild.
“There was a conversation between Max, myself and our coach (Dieter Hecking) and he has been fined.
“We explained to him what kind of behaviour we expect from our players in their free time in public.
“I can only hope that this is a lesson for him and he will change his behaviour somewhat.
“These days, you can no longer say ‘when I drive out of the training ground, I am a private person’.”
Wolfsburg need no off-pitch distractions having reached the Champions League quarter-finals, but suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Kruse’s negligence will do little to help his chances of adding to his 14 caps, with a place in Germany’s squad for the European championships in June, as head coach Joachim Loew is known to frown upon such behaviour.
For the past two years, Kruse has opted to spend his end-of-season holiday at the World Series of Poker championships in Las Vegas.
He won $36,000 after finishing third in one category at the poker event in 2014 while his Germany team-mates were winning the World Cup.