Out of nowhere, Martin Hinteregger has decided to hang up his boots.
|Martin Hinteregger.||Photo: Granada, CC-by-SA 4.0|
Eintracht Frankfurt have announced that Martin Hinteregger will retire from football with immediate effect.
At a personal meeting today, Hinteregger told the club board that he would like to end his career as a professional footballer and requested to be released from his contract, which was due to expire in 2024.
After intensive discussions with the player and his agent, Christian Sand, and after consulting with head coach Oliver Glasner, the board have complied with this request and terminated the 29-year-old's contract.
"Last autumn I’d already started to think about retiring at the end of the season. I was in a difficult period on the pitch: my performances were shaky. The wins didn’t feel as good anymore, and every defeat hurt twice as much," explained Hinteregger and continued:
"My improvement in the spring and our joint successes in the Europa League made me even more motivated to bow out with a great sporting success. That’s why I enjoyed the Europa League victory so much, because I already knew it would be my last big victory celebration with the fantastic fans in this city, which has become my second home. I will think back on my time with Eintracht with only great gratitude and joy, continue to feel closely connected to the club and their fans, and support the team as a fan on their continued journey in Europe.
"I thank my teammates, the coaching staff, the backroom staff, all the employees and the sporting management for the faith, the support and the wonderful time I’ve experienced here. Above all I thank the fans, who have always been behind me, including and especially in difficult times."
Hinteregger's decision comes after he faced criticism for arranging a football tournament in Austria with right-wing politician Heinrich Sickl.
"In the past few weeks, a number of issues have arisen around my 'Hinti Cup', which I have run with passion and the best intentions, the implications of which have only become clear to me in retrospect. Some emotional and perhaps ill-advised words from me have caused irritation and I would like to apologise for that. I regret that very much. To make it clear once again: I condemn right-wing, intolerant and inhuman ideas in the strongest possible terms. Those who know me know that. For now, I need to get some distance and readjust my life. I’m grateful that Eintracht have given me the opportunity to take this step now."
The 29-year-old played for RB Salzburg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt through his career.