Manchester City defender Jason Denayer has expressed his regret at being caught up in a brawl outside a Brussels nightclub on Sunday.
Video footage of the incident emerged this week showing the Belgium international kicking a man who had pinned his friend to the ground on the sidewalk.
Denayer had been reluctant to intervene initially when two men started trading blows in the early hours of the morning, but claims he reacted without thinking after seeing his mate in peril.
"I reacted instinctively," said the 21-year-old centre-back, who endured a disappointing loan spell with relegated Sunderland this past season.
"Of course I regret to have been caught up in a conflict that was not mine to begin with, but I saw my friend was in real danger and I had to interfere and protect him."
Denayer agent, Jesse De Preter, said the youngster then returned to his car before reporting the events to police, who pressed no charges against him.
"Jason tried to be peaceful and to avoid further escalation," De Preter told BBC Sport. "He then gets pushed away from the scene and about 40 people start to fight.
"Jason went to his car, which was destroyed 50% by friends of the guy, but he went home and told the police.
"The police have made a report but there are no charges against Jason. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."