Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Team leading possible from bench, says Hummels

The latest achievement seems to perfectly fit into Mats Hummels current flow.

Following a return to Germany’s national team after over two years, the 34-year-old became the Borussia Dortmund player with the most victories, after featuring in a 4-2 Bundesliga win against Union Berlin, reports Xinhua.

207 wins in 348 games helped the defender outpace club icon Michael Zorc. What seems a side story might be an additional reason why Germany national coach Julian Nagelsmann has called for the previously written-off defender.

The 2014 World Cup winner’s persistence took him back to new heights not many expected in the spring of 2023.

Due to his age, turning 35 this December, Hummels seemed downgraded to a backbencher in the Dortmund squad, and slipping back into the Germany shirt seemed little more than a pipedream.

Ahead of matches against the United States, Mexico and Turkey, Hummels spoke about “an outstanding appreciation” to be call up and, on top, mentioned by Nagelsmann as the team leader.

The return is a reward for his efforts on and off the pitch, as it gives proof of the efforts he took to make things work again.

“I have been taking a leading role when I sat on the bench in Dortmund and I will do the same while in the national team,” Hummels said.

It might be hard to imagine that Nagelsmann is going to place Hummels on the bench, but the Borussia defender seemed keen to announce: “I accept the leader role, no matter how our coach’s approach is when it comes to the lineup.”

German football association Sporting Director Rudi Voller called Hummels an experienced player who can take young players to new heights and trigger ambitions. “He is a natural leader,” the German striker icon said, adding: “He has proved that over the past months in Dortmund; having to face competition. He is a player with instinct.”

To be an example delivering determination and passion is possible sitting on the bench, while giving everything in training sessions.

The Germany squad has the quality to return to the top of international football, the former Dortmund captain said.

Over recent months, Hummels has turned into his club’s best player, and demands for his return to the struggling national team increased day by day.

“I want the national team be what we were some years ago, one of the world’s best,” Hummels said.

He is happy to deliver an example of not giving up when facing dark times. At Dortmund, Hummels saw off younger competitors such as Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.

The Dortmund defender made his last appearance in the Germany shirt in the summer of 2021, and won 43 of his 76 internationals.

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