Mats Hummels heads Dortmund into the Champions League final against PSG

Mats Hummels heads Dortmund into the Champions League final against PSG

“Man of the Match”, the header to win against Paris and clairvoyant abilities: Dortmund defender Mats Hummels sent a pointer to the national coach by reaching the final.

If Mats Hummels is still looking for his destiny after his football career, this would be the right clue: football oracle. At least what the 2014 world champion said in the obligatory press conference the day before the second leg of his employer Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final in Paris only leads to the conclusion that the man clearly has clairvoyant abilities.

Hummels spoke about Nico Schlotterbeck, who keeps order alongside him in the central defense at BVB, and praised his colleague: “I think Schlotti comes off way too negatively. He’s a great defender and a really good guy, who has the right attitude and has become a leader here.”

At the end of his eulogy, Hummels couldn’t resist a little dig: “If he now practices his offensive header with me, I’ll be completely satisfied with Nico.” What prophetic words Dortmund’s leader had found were revealed the following evening: Borussia also made it into the final at Wembley because Schlotterbeck stood out as an outstanding tackler in a Dortmund team that defended itself with great passion.

Mats Hummels heads BVB into the Champions League final

But things were about to get even better: in the 50th minute, after a corner from Julian Brandt, teacher Hummels demonstrated to the whole world how to set the offensive header that hits the opponent right in the heart. The 78-time national player thus decided the duel against the star ensemble from Paris Saint-Germain, which was funded with hundreds of millions.

1-0 in the first leg in Dortmund and again 1-0 in the second leg – two goals to zero against the exceptional offensive team led by world star Kilian Mbappé. That is a brilliant exclamation point that could not be expected from a team like Borussia, which had so often offered up such big gaps defensively. “We worked like crazy,” said match winner Hummels after 90 sweaty minutes, “one was there for the other.” In fact, the dedication of Dortmund’s self-sacrificing defense was phenomenal.

However, the truth is that BVB needed a good portion of fortune to keep themselves harmless. Paris recorded a total of six goals in the two-legged tie. Turns like these are popularly referred to as the luck of the brave. The people of Dortmund won’t really care how you classify things.

Edin Terzic becomes a Dortmund icon

In the duel with the winner of the duel Real Madrid against Bayern Munich, the last stage on the way to the summit should now be successful. Marco Reus expressed the emotional situation in the pot with the diction of his region: “Now we have to get the thing too, otherwise it would be shit.”

Coach Edin Terzic filled the night in Paris with “a lot of pride”. The 41-year-old recalled the development with the tricky group phase and the knockout games in which his team defied all odds. “We grew with every game and at some point we knew we could do it.”

With his entry into the final at Wembley, Terzic is now mentioned in the same breath as the Dortmund pillar saints Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jürgen Klopp, who also worked their way into the final of the premier class with Borussia. In 1997, the big success was achieved in Munich against Juventus Turin, and in 2013 – also in London – the showdown in the German-German duel against Bayern Munich was lost.

The fact that BVB can play in the English capital on June 1st is also thanks to the tandem, who cleaned up the central defense with enthusiasm, dedication and a lot of resilience. Hummels and Schlotterbeck set the style for the indomitable men in yellow, who simply refused to give in to the opponent’s force for a total of 180 minutes.

Hummels’ performance is a pointer to Nagelsmann

The obvious impression is that Hummels has taken on a kind of mentorship role for Schlotterbeck. The two professionals are separated by eleven years, so the future belongs to the junior partner: “I’m leaning that far out of the window,” says Hummels, “German football will have a lot of fun with him in the next few years.”

If you were to ask the future football oracle, the message would be clear: Julian Nagelsmann would be well advised to examine himself and take both Dortmund players to the European Championships this summer. Despite the gala performances against Paris, this is not a given. Most recently, the duo had not been considered by the national coach. “But if in the end only Nico is nominated, I’ll be almost as happy about it as if I were included,” says Hummels, “because it would be a confirmation of what we’re doing here.”

There are still a few weeks to go before the continental title fights kick off in German arenas, in which a lot will happen. On the way to the big event, the Dortmunders still have fundamental things to do on their own mission. Hummels, who was named “Man of the Match” as in the first leg, was given one last task by his coach Edin Terzic after the triumph in Paris: “Mats, you have to do it one more time.”

In fact, the Champions League and the European Championship are still missing from the defender’s rich collection of titles. In the fall of a great career, both are possible. Hummels wouldn’t mind: “It’s a good time to add a little more.”

Source: Stern

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