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Martin Hinteregger should pull himself together

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Of: Thomas Kilchenstein

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Eintracht defender Martin Hinteregger should recognize the signs and pull himself together – otherwise he has no future in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt – If the Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger were a pop group, you could easily release a “Best of” CD between two seasons, with the greatest excitement of the 29-year-old Carinthian. The “can’t say anything positive” about the coach Manuel Baum at FC Augsburg would be possible, the backpack affair, the degenerated own birthday party until the morning in the training camp of the Austrian national team, of course the deeply sad picture after the penalty missed at Chelsea, the Hinti Army recording, a few helicopter flights with him as a pilot, the ten best tackles would of course also be there, no question, as well as his strong-willed effort recently in the equalizer against Betis Sevilla, and as an encore: how he won his winner’s medal in some pub dips beer in a plastic beaker and licks it off. There would easily be material for a double CD.

Well, the Hinti, it’s a brand. A very special type, someone you can touch, genuine, authentic, someone like you and me, from the heart of life, likeable, approachable.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Martin Hinteregger is a role model

But Martin Hinteregger is also a soccer player, a professional, definitely one of the better ones, 67 times national player, EM participant. Fearless and uncompromising, someone who radios Heidewitzka in between, sparing neither himself nor the opponent, someone on whom the other, younger footballers stand up in the game and also benefit from him and his calmness and callousness. In the stands, the man has long been a cult figure, a figure to identify with, a crowd favorite because he is who he is. With corners and edges, not ironed smooth.

Oliver Glasner and Martin Hinteregger in final training before the semi-final second leg against West Ham. © Arne Dedert / dpa

At the moment it looks like the liaison with Eintracht Frankfurt has gotten a few cracks. The defender was quoted as saying that “a lot” had “broken down” these days because Eintracht Frankfurt had suggested to him in late autumn and before the Barcelona game that he leave the club in the summer. This statement, recently read in the Austrian tabloid “Kronen-Zeitung”, has irritated Eintracht Frankfurt, because meanwhile and after a long conversation with coach Oliver Glasner it was already clear that Hinteregger would very well play a role in Frankfurt next year. The fact that the club is clearly bothered by the unstable, unprofessional lifestyle of the defender is documented, as is the separation planned in the spring.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Martin Hinteregger’s advisors with strange statements

The excessive excursions into nightlife with corresponding videos and pictures in the relevant portals did not please the club. In addition, Hinti is said to have skipped the farewell to the players leaving the club, such as Stefan Ilsanker or Danny da Costa; as the only one from the squad. After all, the statements made by the consultant Christian Sand, who is little appreciated in Frankfurt and who once made a strange impression on Adi Hütter, are rather counterproductive: Hinteregger “could have earned twice as much in Naples”, or “now would be a good time to extend the contract beyond 2024 ‘ didn’t go down well.

Martin Hinteregger, it has to be said, got a bit out of control. That he is different from the usual model professionals, that he preferred a clamshell phone for a long time and castigated the smartphone mania of his colleagues, that he writes openly about his depression, that he needs slaps in the face for motivation, as he himself said, that he is sometimes overweight comes from vacation that he wants to play in a leisure football tournament organized by him (“1st Hinti Cup”) with 40 teams in his home town of Sirnitz, that he opened the restaurant “Zum Adler” with a buddy in the old town of Kronberg , his open dealings with his fondness for beer – all this was tolerated as long as his performance was right. But they were no longer right at the beginning of the second half of the season. Then he bit into it and tore his belt. But the fact is: Eintracht won the semi-final second leg and final in the Europa League without Hinteregger, who was injured. Nevertheless: For him it was one of the highlights of his career, which he savored, impressive his sentimental ode on the Roman balcony for goalkeeper Kevin Trapp (“New to the Bank”).

Newcomer from Frankfurt: Hrvoje Smolcic.
Newcomer from Frankfurt: Hrvoje Smolcic. © imago images/LaPresse

It is to be hoped that Martin Hinteregger interprets the signs correctly. The non-conformist can no longer afford much, especially since he is no longer the only identification figure in the team. The fact that the boulevard, previously on his side, is now taking a different course should give him food for thought. (“Last Chance for Hinti”, “How Hinti Loses His Hero Status”).

On Tuesday, Eintracht announced the permanent signing of Hrvoje Smolcic (HNK Rijeka), who will receive a five-year contract. His strengths: central and left defense. The positions of Martin Hinteregger. (Thomas Kilchenstein)

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