Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says that he was in fear of his life and mistakenly thought that he was being kidnapped when he was arrested during a late night confrontation on the Greek island of Mykonos last week.
Maguire was detained by police for two nights following the incident, and was subsequently charged and convicted of assaulting a police offer and attempted bribery and the England defender became involved in a confrontation with another group of men.
Police arrived at the scene shortly thereafter where, according to a spokesperson, Maguire was considered a violent threat and was wrestled to the ground by five officers.
Further details have emerged in the media which suggested that Maguire was coming to the aid of his sister, who was reportedly assaulted by a group of foreign nationals after which she lost consciousness.
“My initial thought, I thought we were getting kidnapped. We got down on our knees, we put our hands in the air, they just started hitting us,” Maguire said of the incident to the BBC.
“They were hitting my leg, saying my career’s over: No more football. You won’t play again.
“And at this point I thought there is no chance these are police or I don’t know who they are so I tried to run away, I was in that much of a panic, fear, scared for my life. All the way through it.”
Maguire also rubbished allegations from Greek police that he attempted to bribe them.
“No, for sure,” he said. “As soon as I saw that statement, it’s just ridiculous.“
Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, was dropped from Gareth Southgate’s England squad following his conviction and subsequent suspended jail sentence but insists that he has no cause for apology.
“It was horrible. It’s not something I ever want to do again. I don’t wish it on anybody. It’s the first time I’ve ever been inside a prison,” he said.
“I don’t feel like I owe an apology to anybody. An apology is something when you’ve done something wrong or regret. I regret being in the situation.
“I play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. I regret putting the fans and the club through this. I think it could have happened anywhere. I love Greece, I think us footballers get a bit of stick for trying to stay away from everything. It’s not how I want to live my life.”
Maguire, who also stated that he is unsure whether or not he will remain captain of Manchester United, stated that the “truth will be told” at the retrial after confirming that an appeal against the conviction had been lodged.
“It’s a massive privilege to play for the club, never mind to be captain. It’s not my decision to make,” he said.
“I have great faith in the Greek law. The retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. And I am really confident that the truth will be told and come out.“