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May 21, 2013

Hummels dismisses Barcelona talk

Mats Hummels has looked to end speculation about his future by telling kicker he has not been in contact with Barcelona and intends to remain at Borussia Dortmund.

Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels is eyeing Champions League glory against former club Bayern

Hummels has recently been linked with a switch to the Camp Nou and it was believed he could consider leaving the Champions League finalists, with the Germany international having previously said he would only consider offers from clubs such as Barcelona.

The rumours increased when Barca president Sandro Rosell, speaking TV show Aktuelle Sportstudio, said his club were interested in a German player.

However, the 24-year-old centre-back has now said he has had no contact with the Spanish champions.

“I don’t think it is my job to quash rumours made up by other people,” he said. “If, in the future, there should be some truth to those things, I will say so. And when I now maintain that there is nothing to these rumours, people should believe me.

“I have not had any contact with Barcelona or any other club.”

Hummels is one of only four members of the Dortmund squad to have joined the club ahead of the Jurgen Klopp era, originally joining on a loan deal as a 19-year-old from Bayern Munich in January 2008. He had made only one appearance for Bayern, but appeared 13 times for Dortmund under coach Thomas Doll.

He was joined that summer by Neven Subotic, who signed from Mainz, as the pair established one of the finest defensive partnerships in the division under new coach Klopp’s guidance. In 2009, Hummels made the switch to the Westfalenstadion permanent, and has since signed two contract extensions, with the latest tying him to the club until 2017.

Given his experiences, he said he does not feel any lingering attachment to Bayern.

“I only played for Bayern at youth and reserve level,” he said. “I was not an actual part of the first team. After five-and-a-half years in Dortmund, competing with Bayern, I cannot say there is an emotional tie, especially as they are our main rivals.”

He said Dortmund’s rise to the top - which has brought two Bundesliga titles and a DFB-Pokal - is so extreme that “it would probably be too tacky for a Hollywood film”.

He added: “When I joined Dortmund five-and-a-half years ago, it was not foreseeable that things would turn out as perfectly as they did - there was not even a suggestion that they would.”

That fairytale rise could be completed if Dortmund defeat Bayern in the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday. In August, BVB had been drawn in a so-called ‘Group of Death’ alongside Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax, leading the club’s CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, to say: “In such a group, heroes are born.”

However, although Dortmund have exceeded all expectation in topping the group before reaching the final, Hummels does not feel they have yet lived up to Watzke’s billing.

“We can only become heroes in the actual meaning of the word when we complete our task,” he said. “We have come pretty close to it with this Champions League season, though, looking back at the many unbelievable moments on our road to Wembley.”

He expects an “extremely intense game” against the Bayern, saying Dortmund can only beat the German champions “on a good day”. He said they will need every player available, including Bayern-bound Mario Gotze, who is hoping to return to fitness to face his future employers.

“If Mario is fit and fully motivated, he is one of the best players in Bundesliga,” he said. “Therefore it would be really helpful if we could count on him.”

Hummels is also hopeful of proving his fitness in time to play at Wembley.

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