Mats Hummels expects a hot reception from Borussia Dortmund fans when he returns to Signal Iduna Park with Bayern Munich in the DFL-Supercup next weekend.
Hummels re-joined Bayern in May after a hugely-successful eight-year spell at Dortmund during which he won two Bundesliga titles and developed into one of Europe’s premier central defenders.
The drain of talent from Westphalia to Bavaria in recent years – Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski also having moved south, although Gotze returned to Dortmund last month – has increased the rivalry between Germany’s top two clubs and Hummels accepts he will be a target at his former home.
“The boos from the Dortmund fans will come but it won’t change my appreciation [of them and the club],” he told reporters on Saturday. “The game will be very special for me.
“The decision to move took a lot of strength and it gave me a headache for several weeks – it was a long and difficult process.
“Dortmund and Bayern are the only clubs I’ve played for but Bayern are one of the best three teams in the world and have the chance to win everything every year. In the end, that was the decisive factor.”
Bundesliga champions Bayern reportedly paid in excess of €35 million to sign Hummels, but the man himself feels that is merely a sign of the times.
He added: “Of course, the amounts are very high but when there is so much money floating round, it is understandable that there is this kind of transfer fee. For good players you just have to give more.”