Mats Hummels reached a Bundesliga milestone on Matchday 15, making his 400th appearance in Germany’s top flight.
The 33-year-old could not help his team come up trumps in the battle of the Borussias, but the 4-2 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach was nevertheless a special occasion for the Borussia Dortmund defender.
Only four other current Bundesliga players have brought up 400 top-flight appearances, led by Bayern Munich duo Manuel Neuer (477) and Thomas Müller (423), and Hoffenheim custodian Oliver Baumann (407).
Hummels celebrated his first Bundesliga appearance on 19 May 2007, debuting as a replacement for Martin Demichelis in Bayern’s 5-2 win over Mainz. His first steps came in a squad featuring another legendary goalkeeper in Oliver Kahn, Bayern’s current CEO, while the Bavarian club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic occupied the right full-back berth and Philipp Lahm was on the left.
It was his one and only outing in a Bayern shirt that season, though, before the then 18-year-old Hummels was loaned out to Dortmund. Under Jürgen Klopp, he soon became a regular at the heart of the BVB defence, leading to his move becoming a permanent one. He scored his first Bundesliga goal in October 2008 and – the current season notwithstanding – he has scored at least once in each of his 14 campaigns since 2008.
Hummels was part of the dominant Dortmund side which clinched back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, but his next league title came back where it all began, in Munich. In 2015/16, he returned to his roots and celebrated three consecutive league titles with the record champions before retracing his steps to Dortmund for the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
His 400 Bundesliga appearances have been divided unequally between Dortmund (325) and Bayern (75), and he continues to be a key part of the Westphalians’ defensive armoury. Without him at the heart of their defence, they have conceded an average of one goal every 28 minutes this season, for a total of 10 goals in just 277 minutes.
Prior to Friday night, Dortmund had conceded just seven goals in the 983 minutes he had spent on the field, confirming once again how – with 400 Bundesliga appearances under his belt – Hummels' experience continues to be vital for Dortmund.
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