Eintracht Frankfurt’s Martin Hinteregger surprisingly ended his football career with immediate effect. The Hessians announced this decision by the 29-year-old this Thursday. “I enjoyed the victory in the Europa League so much because I already knew that it would be my last big victory celebration with the fantastic fans in this city, which has become my second home,” said Hinteregger in a club statement. He had already thought about ending his career after the season last fall.
The contract with Europa League winners Frankfurt, which is valid up to and including June 30, 2024, will be suspended. This was initially reported by the “Bild-Zeitung”. Sport director Markus Krösche said: “Martin’s decision came as a surprise to us, but he explained his perspective and reasons to us in an impressive and convincing manner. So there was no question for us to comply with this sportingly painful but humanly understandable wish.”
“I would like to apologize for that”
Hinteregger was recently heavily criticized for a business relationship with an FPÖ local councilor. Although the defender ended the relationship and clearly differentiated himself to the right, he annoyed other fans with his statements in subsequent interviews. “Emotional, maybe thoughtless words from me have led to irritation and I would like to apologize for that. I am very sorry. To say it again very clearly: I condemn right-wing, intolerant and inhuman ideas in the strongest possible terms,” Hinteregger clarified once again.
According to Eintracht, Hinteregger asked the board to release him from his obligations ahead of time. “First of all, I need to gain some distance and reorient my life. I’m grateful that Eintracht gives me the opportunity to take this step now,” said Hinteregger. And: “I will only think back to my time at Eintracht with great gratitude and joy, I will continue to feel a close connection to the club and its supporters and I will support the team as a fan on their way through Europe.”
Although the professional was a crowd favorite because of his approachable and undisguised manner, he has recently become more and more of a problem for the club. “Martin’s step deserves respect and recognition,” said Krösche, for whom a serious problem was solved by itself.
The official added: “Not least because of his sincere apologies for his behavior over the past few days and weeks and his clear and credible distancing from right-wing ideas, he is always welcome in Frankfurt as a deserved player and European Cup winner.” Hinteregger contributed to the Club could take “this great development”.
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