German second-division club Stuttgart have parted ways with former Germany player Kevin Grosskreutz. This came after an altercation earlier in the week, which resulted in the player winding up in hospital.
VfB Stuttgart confirmed on Friday that the club has parted ways with Kevin Grosskreutz by mutual consent. In a statement posted on its official website, the club said that the release of Grosskreutz was a direct result of an altercation that he became involved in during the early hours of this past Tuesday.
After having attended a party in central Stuttgart on Monday night, Grosskreutz got into a fight in which he sustained head injuries that were so serious that he required treatment in a local hospital.
The Stuttgart statement expressed relief that Grosskreutz' injuries were such that he would suffer no long-term damage. However, it also pointed to the important role that members of its first team play in setting an example for the younger players and the public at large. This it said, meant that Grosskreutz' behaviour could not be without consequences.
At a hastily organized press conference at the club's home ground, a teary eyed Grosskreutz appeared in front of reporters, and apologized to the club and the fans. He also wished Stuttgart well in their quest to win promotion to the Bundesliga, saying he hoped to be "invited to the party" when they did. At the same time, though, he said that "for the time being, I don't want anything to do with professional football."
Grosskreutz spent just over a year at VfB Stuttgart, having joined the Swabians in the January 2016 transfer window from Turkish club Galatasaray for a reported 2.2 million euros ($2.3 million).
Grosskreutz was a fan favorite in Stuttgart, despite the fact that he had only arrived at the club just over a year ago
Grosskreutz stayed with Stuttgart despite the fact that they were relegated at the end of last season and was a regular in the team that currently tops the second division, making 16 league appearances and scoring one goal. His contract with Stuttgart had been due to run through the end of next season.
This is not the first time that Grosskreutz has made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Several hours after the final of the 2014 German Cup, an intoxicated Grosskreutz, who was then with Borussia Dortmund, was seen urinating in the lobby of a Berlin hotel.
This came shortly after what became known in Germany as the "doner kebab" incident, in which a Cologne fan accused Grosskreutz of throwing a kebab at him in a Cologne doner shop. Grosskreutz denied throwing the kebab in the Cologne fan's face, saying he had only thrown it on the floor after he had been insulted. However, Grosskreutz apologized for his behavior anyway.
Despite the incidents, German national team coach Joachim Löw named Grosskreutz to the squad that he took to Brazil in the summer of 2014. However, Grosskreutz saw no action in Germany's World Cup-winning campaign.