Mats Hummels says he was delighted to be entrusted with a centre-back spot by Joachim Loew in Germany’s 1-0 win over Portugal on Sunday.
Despite a sub-par performance in the warm-up friendly against Switzerland, the Borussia Dortmund defender was chosen ahead of Per Mertesacker to partner Holger Badstuber at centre-back, and went on to produce one of his finest performances at international level.
He said he was nervous prior to kick-off, but was delighted with the showing he put in.
“On Friday night I was informed that I would play,” he revealed at a press conference on Sunday.
“But there had been signs before in training with the way the coach treated me. I knew there was a chance that I would play and I am happy that was the case.”
“I am happy that I contributed my part to our victory,” he said. “Needless to say, I feel very positive about that.
“It was very nice that the coach trusted me. That is the most important thing for every player, to feel that you are needed when everybody is fit.
“There was a bigger anxiety compared to a normal Bundesliga match. I wanted to gain safety in the first minutes and the longer the match lasted, the less nervous I got.”
Hummels said he knew how important his role would be after Netherlands’ shock defeat at the hands of Denmark.
“The game might have looked tough from the outside,” he said.
“Both teams saw Netherlands struggle against Denmark and nobody wanted to concede, because we know how difficult it is to come back after conceding a goal. All teams know how to defend well nowadays.
“The important thing is that I helped the team, but history is not written after one game.”
Germany’s next match, against arch-rivals Netherlands, is on Wednesday.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!