Football: Reus picks up hefty fine for driving without licence

Picture taken on Sept 2, 2013 shows German international Marco Reus getting out of the car as he arrives at the team hotel in Munich, southern Germany. -- PHOTO: AFP
Picture taken on Sept 2, 2013 shows German international Marco Reus getting out of the car as he arrives at the team hotel in Munich, southern Germany. -- PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Borussia Dortmund and Germany winger Marco Reus has been fined more than half a million euros for driving without a licence for years.

The 25-year-old international, who has been advertising the club's car sponsor and has also been in ads for a petrol company, received speeding tickets on at least five occasions since 2011 before the authorities realised that he had been driving without a licence ever since.

"I decided back then to take that road but the reasons I did it are something I cannot really understand today," Reus, a transfer target for many top European clubs, was quoted as telling Bild newspaper on Wednesday.

Dortmund's prosecutor's office said the fine was 540,000 euros (S$880,000) related to incidents from 2011 until this March. "Today I know that I was too naive and that it was stupid. I have learnt my lesson and this will not happen again," Reus said.

The club said they had discussed the matter with the player who said he had made a "stupid" mistake.

"He has promised such a thing will not happen again," club spokesman Sascha Fligge told reporters. "We see no reason to doubt his words because we hold Marco both as a player and as a person in high regard."

Reus, who missed Germany's World Cup triumph in July after picking up an injury in the final warm-up game, is currently out with another ankle injury.