With a five-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga, a 5-1 lead over Arsenal FC from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie and a DFB Cup quarter-final against FC Schalke 04 to look forward to, the 2016/17 season appears to be going according to plan for FC Bayern Munich.
Back where his career began, Hummels spoke to bundesliga.com to discuss how far he has come and how far he hopes to go as Bayern prepare to face Hamburger SV in their next Bundesliga fixture this weekend.
bundesliga.com: Mats Hummels, you joined Bayern from Dortmund in the summer. Have your expectations been met?
Mats Hummels: I think so. For me personally, everything's gone well. I found my feet quickly, which was certainly helped by knowing some of the team and the coaches already. Many of my friends and family still live in Munich.
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's Matchday 21 draw away to Hertha Berlin:
bundesliga.com: How do you assess the season so far?
Hummels: The results have been in keeping with what we wanted to achieve. We're top of the Bundesliga and have a good chance in all the three competitions we're in. Of course there’s always room to improve. We always want to get better and be even more dominant.
bundesliga.com: You didn’t move abroad or have to learn a new language, but changing clubs is still not necessarily simple…
Hummels: Well, I already knew some people here, which gives you a positive feeling right from the start and made things easier. I didn't arrive as a young player looking to build on little experience. But the whole package was ideal, which has been the main reason for this good start.
bundesliga.com: You came to Munich as the captain of a well-known club. A captain is expected to be a top earner with the power to speak on certain situations. Was it difficult to have a slightly different role at Bayern?
Hummels: I've never been one to express my opinions loudly on the training ground. Of course it’s sometimes necessary to make yourself heard. As with other teams, we also talk a lot together, and I give my opinion when I feel it’s necessary. We do this in smaller groups, though. We have an excellent captain in Philipp Lahm, who's vastly experienced and fulfils the role very well.
bundesliga.com: Do you ever have to bite your tongue?
Hummels: Perhaps there has been the odd situation where I might have said something like a captain. In Munich, however, there are so many experienced players and a coach with great international experience. When I think of something, most of the time somebody else has already thought of it too! (laughs). This is a comfortable situation for me.
"Watching football helps me relax. I’ve been watching as much as possible recently." - Mats Hummels
bundesliga.com: What do you make of Carlo Ancelotti? In recent years you had a lively coach in the shape of Jürgen Klopp. Ancelotti seems to be the opposite…
Hummels: This is a question of personality. Carlo Ancelotti has had a lot of experience in professional football - more than 20 years. He seems to exude peace and calm. This doesn't mean that he fails to intervene if he sees the need, but he does this in his own way.
bundesliga.com: Apparently you enjoy football both as a professional and as a fan, watching games at home as often as possible?
Hummels: That's right! There are occasional days when I can rest and regenerate at the same time the football's on. Watching it helps me relax. I've been watching as much as possible recently: Bundesliga 2, the Bundesliga, the evening game. I even watch the second tier game on Monday when it’s on.
bundesliga.com: You once said you feel like you are 33 years old…
Hummels: I said that after the sixth day of the winter training camp! (laughs) Everyone feels exhausted then. We worked hard. Everyone was feeling older.