Manchester United defender Harry Maguire said he feared for his life when Greek police arrested him last week as he thought he was being kidnapped.
The England international told BBC sports editor Dan Roan that plain-clothed police officers, who did not identify themselves, pulled over his group’s minibus in Mykonos, threw him off the bus, hit him in his legs and told him his career was over.
The 27-year-old said he tried to run away – with one handcuff on – because he had no idea who the men were.
On Tuesday, Maguire was given a suspended sentence of 21 months and 10 days in prison after his trial on the Greek island of Syros.
He was found guilty of repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery, violence against public employees and insult after arrest on Mykonos.
On Wednesday, his legal team lodged an appeal against the verdict. In accordance with Greek law, the appeal nullifies Maguire’s conviction and there will be a full retrial in a more senior court.
An emotional Maguire, who broke down during the interview, said hearing the guilty verdict was “horrible” and that he “couldn’t quite believe it”.
The centre-back, who denies throwing any punches or trying to bribe the police, added: “I don’t feel I owe an apology to anybody.
“An apology is something when you have done something wrong.”
He said: “I don’t wish it on anybody. Obviously the situation has made it difficult for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I regret putting the fans and the club through this, but I did nothing wrong.
“I found myself in a situation where it could have happened to anybody and anywhere.”
Asked how badly he was hurt, Maguire said: “They hit me a lot on the legs. It wasn’t on my mind. I was in that much of a panic. Fear. Scared for my life.”
Maguire said his family are suffering more than himself and that his “conscience is clear”.
“I know what happened that night. I know the truth,” he added.
“When I speak about it I get worked up but that’s because it just makes me feel a bit angry inside. I will move on. I am mentally strong enough.”
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