When Wolfsburg striker Max Kruse was fined for leaving 75,000 euros (£59,000) of poker winnings in the back of a taxi, he probably thought his week could not get any worse.
How wrong he was.
Now after a tumultuous seven days in which he has also been publicly admonished for his Nutella addiction and forced to build a chicken coop in dungarees, the 28-year-old has been dropped from the Germany squad for the friendly against England in Berlin on Saturday.
The sanction imposed by his Bundesliga club was 25,000 euros (£20,000), meaning Kruse’s misdemeanours have left him almost £80,000 poorer – not to mention the considerable dents to his pride and blood sugar levels.
Germany manager Joachim Low was not sympathetic, saying: “We need players who are focused on football and also understand their role as role models.
“I talked with Max about what I expect from players on and off the pitch. His actions in the last weeks were unprofessional.”
According to German newspaper Bild, the trouble began in October, after Kruse enjoyed a successful evening at the World Series Poker tournament in Berlin.
Sadly, his joy was short-lived, as the cash suffered a fate familiar to countless Bundesliga defenders: left trailing in Kruse’s wake.
The striker contacted the police but the money has never been recovered, and to add to insult to injury, he was reprimanded by Wolfsburg last week after the incident was made public.
To make matters worse, Kruse could not even seek solace in his favourite comfort food.
Wolfsburg director Klaus Allofs confronted him at the club’s winter training camp and told him to kick the chocolate hazelnut spread into touch, Bild reported.
“The aim is to support our players to deliver optimum performance,” Allofs said. “Max needs to correct a few things.”
Deprived of his sugary fix, there remained one final indignity for Kruse.
As part of Wolfsburg’s community programme, he was sent to help out at a youth group – where he was snapped in a fetching pair of green dungarees, taking part in the construction of a chicken coop.
So far, it has not been a month to remember for Wolfsburg’s strikers: last week Nicklas Bendtner was fined 2,250 euros (£1,750) after sleeping through his alarm clock and missing training.
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