Captain Hummels plays down Dortmund fans’ boos, banner

Dortmund, May 1 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels played down the reaction of home fans at the Westfalenstadion after the football club announced that the defender wanted to join traditional rivals Bayern Munich.

Dortmund may have won 5-1 on Saturday at home to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, but it was not an easy afternoon for Hummels. The 27-year-old was jeered by sections of the crowd each time he touched the ball on his first appearance for Dortmund since it was made public that he has asked to return to Bayern this summer.

Dortmund have suggested they could make him see out the final year of his contract, but a banner was held up by a group of Dortmund fans saying he should leave “straight away”.

“They were not the real fans — they were just a group of about 300 who never really loved me in the first place, and they just used this as a stage to vent their anger I could see who it was coming from,” Hummels was quoted as saying by sport1.de.

Hummels was defended by his head coach Thomas Tuchel, who praised the rest of the Westfalenstadion for honouring his captain’s eight years at the club with applause.

“You don’t need to be a genius to expect that the fans would have expressed their disappointment,” Tuchel said at the post-match news conference.

“It was a very ambivalent atmosphere, though. His touches first drew whistles and then a majority of the fans tried to drown them out with their applause and make their voices heard, the coach said.

–IANS

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