Mats Hummels: Money is a motivator
Mats Hummels believes money does matter to footballers, and that exploring other options is as legitimate for players as it is for everybody else.
Hummels, 25, was named the new Borussia Dortmund captain this summer when veteran midfielder Sebastian Kehl decided to pass on the armband for the final year of his career.
The Dortmund centre-back was one of Germany's stars at the World Cup, with his performances for Die Nationalmannschaft making him a transfer target for Manchester United among others.
However, the former Bayern Munich reserve player -- who had captained BVB before as one of Kehl's backups -- opted to continue on his path with Jurgen Klopp's side, where he is under contract until 2017.
"Maybe I was made the captain because I was already emotionally tied to it anyway," Hummels told ARD TV, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.
Hummels believes his commitment to the club in spite of interest from abroad might have influenced Klopp's decision to present him with the armband.
"I am not a player who eyes a transfer every three months. I like it here," he said. "I am proud to be the captain."
But the new Dortmund leader knows that not all professional footballers function the way he does, and that money is a decisive factor for most players.
"I think that you are allowed to also look at the money," he said. "That's never reprehensible. Every other employee would also do that. It's discussed more emotionally in football though."
Without Hummels, Dortmund started the new league season in poor fashion, losing 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen as Karim Bellarabi netted in just nine seconds -- the fastest goal in Bundesliga history -- at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday.
But Hummels -- who is set to return to the pitch for the first time after the World Cup on Tuesday in a friendly against lower league club Waldhof Mannheim -- believes that the title race is far from over.
"Just like every year, four or five teams can win the league," he added. "Of course, Bayern Munich are favourites, but we've already shown in the past that we can bite them."