Eintracht Frankfurt’s Martin Hinteregger ended his football career completely unexpectedly and with immediate effect. The Hessians announced this decision by the 29-year-old on 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 until 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.”

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. 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.