Clubs: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund
Position: Central defender
Born: 16 December 1988 in Gladbach, West Germany
Transfer fees: After a successful loan spell Hummels joined Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €4 million in February 2009, a deal and a price that Bayern may still regret. After establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the world he is now the subject of major interest from Manchester United and Arsenal with a big-money transfer being reported.
International highlights: A part of Germany’s current stellar crop of players, Hummels was also part of the team that won the European Under-21 Championship in 2009 alongside Manuel Neuer, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil. In 2014, alongside those same players, Hummels won the World Cup in Brazil, beating the hosts 7-1 in the semi-final.
Club highlights: Before Bayern Munich started their current period of dominance Borussia Dortmund won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, a German Cup and reached the Champions League final in three years of unprecedented success between 2010 and 2013. The first title win stood out as Dortmund, with Hummels as a key figure, boasted the best defensive record in the division, while the second title saw them set a points record. He also scored in Dortmund’s comprehensive 5-2 German Cup final win against Bayern in 2012.
Personal honours: Hummels took his reputation to another level with his composed displays at the 2014 World Cup and was named in the Team of the Tournament and was also on the 10-man shortlist for the Player of the Tournament.
In numbers: As of November 2014, Hummels has played 227 times for Borussia Dortmund, scoring 20 goals and assisting a further 11. He boasts an 80% pass accuracy and is successful in 66% of tackles, winning 67% of aerial challenges. Meanwhile, his record for the national team is even more impressive, with an 88% pass accuracy, 68% tackle success rate and 75% of aerial challenges won.
Did you know: Hummels was a spectator at Manchester United v Wigan on 26 December 2006 after being bought tickets as a birthday present by his father. Although it is unconfirmed if he is a United fan it bodes well for the club’s reported pursuit of the German.
And another thing: Hummels’ girlfriend Cathy Fischer was named as Germany’s WAG of the Year in 2013 by magazine SKY Germany.
Idol: The German defender’s assured playing style has been likened to Franz Beckenbauer but he actually started out as an attacking player and dreamed of becoming the next Zinedine Zidane, something he even refers to on his official website. Following his performances at Euro 2012 Zidane praised Hummels’ emergence, calling him “a positive surprise”.
Private life: Hummels’ mother Ulla Holthoff is a high-profile sports journalist and became the first woman to commentate on a football game for German television. His father was a professional footballer and coach and his brother Jonas is also a central defender, currently plying his trade for Bundesliga II side SpVgg. Meanwhile, he has been dating model Cathy Fischer since he was 18.
Away from the field: Hummels’ interests include basketball, wakeboarding, spending time with his pet dog, cooking and every kind of ice cream.
Social media: Even though he has only tweeted 103 times, 731k followers on Twitter is testament to Hummels’ huge popularity. That’s nothing compared to his 3.6m likes on Facebook, though.