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Arnie rolling back the years

Filed: Thursday, 11th October 2018
By: Staff Writer

He may be rapidly approaching his 30th birthday, but West Ham star Marko Arnautovic says he feels more like 20...

The Floridsdorf-born Austrian international is currently preparing to face Northern Ireland in Friday night's UEFA Nations League Group B encounter at the Ernst Happel Stadion.

And speaking to reporters on Thursday, Arnautovic insisted that, despite nursing a minor knee injury, he is feeling just as good as he did a decade ago when first beginning his journey as a pro.

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"I feel like 20; it does not matter to me how old I am," said 'Arnie' ahead of what should be his 75th cap for his country. "I do not feel it in the body and in my bones and I'm as fit as I was five, six, seven years ago.

"I took a knock on the knee against Bosnia [last month], thereby an inflammation in the bone arose. You can't do anything about it; it will hurt a little longer, for weeks or maybe months. I just have to wait for the pain to go away.

"Northern Ireland reached the round of 16 at the 2016 European Championships and almost qualified for the 2018 World Cup. But we just have to win this game. Then we still have the chance to become first in the group."

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Arnautovic, who enjoys a mostly private life away when not entertaining thousands of football supporters every week also took a swipe at those in the media who are more interested in his off-field antics rather than his professional career.

"If you write something about me in football, that's not a problem at all, that's your job," he said. "But about my private life - that's where I want respect. I don't talk about the private lives of others and nobody has the right to talk about my private life."

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