Mats Hummels on coaching: Team leading possible from bench

Mats Hummels recently made a remarkable return to the German national team after two years taking a more leadership oriented role.

Mats Hummels, who recently made a remarkable return to the German national team after more than two years, has now achieved another milestone. The 34-year-old defender has become the Borussia Dortmund player with the most victories in the club’s history, surpassing the legendary Michael Zorc. This achievement underscores why Germany’s national coach, Julian Nagelsmann, decided to recall the previously overlooked veteran.

Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund

Hummels has secured 207 wins in 348 games, cementing his legacy at Borussia Dortmund. What might seem like a side story is, in fact, an additional reason why Nagelsmann has called upon the experienced defender. Despite his age, as he approaches 35 in December, Hummels found himself relegated to the bench in the Dortmund squad earlier this year. Returning to the German national team seemed like a distant dream.


Hummels prepares for upcoming clashes

As he prepares for upcoming matches against the United States, Mexico and Turkey, Hummels expressed his “outstanding appreciation” for being called up and for being recognized by Nagelsmann as a team leader. His return is a testament to the unwavering effort he has put in, both on and off the pitch, to regain his place.

Hummels made it clear that he embraces his leadership role, whether he is on the field or watching from the bench. While it may be challenging to imagine Nagelsmann benching him, Hummels stated, “I accept the leader role, no matter how our coach approaches the lineup.”

Rudi Voller on Mats Hummels

Rudi Voller, Sporting Director of the German Football Association, praised Hummels as an experienced player who can inspire younger talents and ignite their ambitions. “He is a natural leader,” said the German football icon, adding, “He has demonstrated that over the past few months at Dortmund; even when faced with competition, he remains a player with unwavering instinct.”

Hummels believes that setting an example of determination and passion is possible, even from a place on the bench, as long as he gives his all in training sessions. The German national squad possesses the quality to reclaim its position as one of the world’s best teams, according to the former Borussia Dortmund captain.

In recent months, Hummels has risen to become his club’s standout player and calls for his return to the struggling national team have grown louder day by day. “I want the national team to return to what we were a few years ago, one of the world’s best,” Hummels passionately declared.

His journey serves as an inspiring example of not giving up, even when faced with challenging times. At Dortmund, Hummels successfully held off competition from younger talents such as Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck.

Hummels last donned the Germany shirt in the summer of 2021, with 43 wins in his 76 international appearances.

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