GGFN Advent Calendar | Day 15 – Mats Hummels and Borussia Dortmund

Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day fifteen, as we look at how Mats Hummels made the number 15 shirt so special at Borussia Dortmund and what the two have achieved together.

After coming through as a product of the Bayern Munich academy, Hummels struggled for regular game time in Bavaria and was subsequently loaned out to Dortmund for the second half of the 2008–09 campaign. Despite his tender age, a 20-year-old Hummels would impress, and a permanent move to the Westfalensatdion was orchestrated in February 2009 for a fee of €4 million.

During his first years at Dortmund, he would attract attention for being a physically strong player, encapsulating maturity beyond his years due to his natural ability to read the game and intercept anything that came his way. This would ensure that Hummels would quickly establish himself in the Dortmund side as the first-choice centre-back.

As Jürgen Klopp continued to develop his relatively young side, Dortmund would soon find themselves in pole position in the Bundesliga during the 2010/11 campaign. Alongside Neven Subotić at the back, Hummels and Dortmund were able to achieve the best defensive record in the Bundesliga, as Die Schwarzgelben were crowned champions of Germany – a feat they would go on to repeat a year later, breaking the record points tally in the process.

As well as this, Hummels would score in the 2011/12 DFB-Pokal final, ensuring a domestic double for BvB. Now regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, a Champions League looked likely for Hummels and Dortmund, but a loss to Bayern in the 2013 final left him heartbroken, and in pursuit of Europe’s greatest prize, after four trophyless years, Hummels departed Dortmund and returned to Bavaria.

However, after another transfer back to Dortmund in the summer of 2019, Hummels would be reunited with his famous number 15 shirt once again. Nevertheless, since then, BvB have seen the Meisterschale slip through their fingers, but further success would follow with a DFB-Pokal in 2021. With the 34-year-old currently in the form of his life, BvB may look at the Champions League in their hunt for silverware this season, but no matter what, Hummels will be regarded as one of Dortmund’s all-time greats, and the number 15 shirt will always be his.

GGFN | Will Shopland

Get Football+

More European Football News