“More nervous than expected”: Hummels’ “special” return after 837 days

Saturday’s international match with the USA also marked Mats Hummels’ return to the national team. The defensive man was very happy – and even a little surprised at himself.

Happy to be back: Mats Hummels.

Happy to be back: Mats Hummels.


On June 29, 2021, Mats Hummels was on the pitch for Germany for the last time in the bitter European Championship exit in the round of 16 against England (0-2). On Saturday, 837 days later, the Borussia Dortmund defender ran again with the eagle on his chest. “An absolutely special moment. A little surprising with more nervousness than I would have thought,” admitted the 34-year-old on the RTL microphone.

The defensive man thoroughly enjoyed the 3-1 win against the USA, in which Hummels was on the pitch until the 62nd minute and was then replaced by BVB colleague Niklas Süle. “It was a lot of fun, before the game, then the anthem, then in the game. That was very fulfilling for me,” said the 2014 world champion.

Overall, it was a successful debut for new national coach Julian Nagelsmann, with the second half being significantly better than the first. “In the first half, the USA had a bit more space when approaching the chain and also behind the chain, that shouldn’t be the case. We then adjusted that. The key is our possession of the ball, we still had one in the first half A few careless ball losses, after the break we were much more confident on the ball,” analyzed Hummels.

Gündogan receives special praise from Nagelsmann

When it comes to ball security, the name Ilkay Gündogan should be mentioned. The captain was very present, scored the 1:1 and received special praise from the coach after the game. “He played an outstanding game,” said Nagelsmann about his extended arm on the field.

The captain is also satisfied with his coach, who has made a difference in such a short time. “He demands a certain way in which we should play football. We’re trying to implement that. It worked in some scenes, in some less so. But of course it takes a few games,” Gündogan asked for patience, but emphasized: ” Today we got off to a good start with the result and a good performance. I hope that things will get better game by game.”

It continues on Wednesday (2 a.m., CET) with the friendly against Mexico.

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