After winning the World Cup with Germany this summer, Mats Hummels was one of the most sought-after defenders in football.
While the likes of European giants Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona all had interest in the 25-year-old, Hummels chose to stay in his native Germany. Although the larger clubs could offer the defender a much larger salary, Hummels said money was not a factor in his decision to stay.
“If one day I start thinking about playing abroad, money won’t be the reason. I don’t even think about that at the moment. We still have so much further to go here.”
Hummels, who won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with Dortmund from 2010-2012, has shown a string of loyalty rarely seen in modern-day sports. While Dortmund and the rest of the Bundesliga have fallen behind Bayern Munich, Hummels said he is staying with the club for more personal reasons.
When we won the championship for a second time in 2012, each one of us could have gone wherever we wanted. But I thought: ‘No, what we have here is something truly unique.’ I’m happy I felt this way. You don’t often find a team where people are really friends with each other. If you’ve got the chance to play at such a high level with your mates you have to hold on to that for as long as possible.”
In Dortmund, Hummels will be viewed as a local hero to their supporters for showing respect and loyalty to the club that has helped him develop into one of the world’s best defenders. He even went as far as saying he would like to be at Dortmund as long as he can, similar to the likes of Paolo Maldini and Steven Gerrard.
Somewhere, Louis van Gaal weeps.