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Frankfurt’s Hinteregger flying high as a helicopter pilot

The Austrian defender is impressing on the pitch and leads an interesting life off it as well

The life of a professional footballer can take players to some very lofty heights, but for Eintracht Frankfurt centre-back Martin Hinteregger, he’s made it his mission to go even higher. 

The 27-year-old is a qualified helicopter pilot and he is already dreaming of flying the aircraft regularly once he hangs up his boots. 

“I don’t just see it as a hobby. My goal is maybe after my career to be a rescue pilot or working for the police,” Hinteregger told Goal and DAZN.

“Maybe also offer sightseeing flights. After a lot of deliberation, that could do me pretty well. There is still time until then and it remains a hobby for the time being. I enjoy having the privilege to fly a helicopter.”

Hinteregger joined Frankfurt permanently this season after impressing on loan last year while still tied to Augsburg

The Austria international has quickly stood out at his new club on and off the pitch, with Hinteregger embracing the idea of being a little bit different from his other team-mates. 

“I may have some unusual characteristics. Not bad or good, but funny maybe,” he said.

“I often go out in a hunting jacket and this strange hat. And when I’m next to Kevin Trapp or Timothy Chandler, who are always well dressed, I look out of place. But I don’t mind. My team-mates get used to it.

“And if I did go out in Gucci or Louis Vuitton, or whatever the name would be…I would feel uncomfortable.” 

Hinteregger’s quirkiness was no doubt exacerbated in the past, with the defender revealing he once went weeks without barely getting any sleep. 

“There were phases when I had a month maybe and slept for an hour or two a day,” he said.

“It could not go on like that. I was not too cowardly to ask for help with this. Talking to a psychologist was good for me. Now I sleep normally again.” 

Now rested and with a clear mind, Hinteregger is determined to finish the season strongly with Frankfurt as the club look to improve upon an underwhelming campaign to date which sees them sitting 10th in the Bundesliga

“Our season is undulating, we have great victories like against Bayern, Leverkusen, Leipzig or Arsenal and then have very weak performances,” Hinteregger said. 

“We are probably a surprise bag. Everyone in Frankfurt dreams of the Champions League, we have high goals ourselves.

“In any case, we want to be at the top in the next few years. Winning the title with Frankfurt would be very special.”

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