Mats Hummels led Borussia Dortmund out as their captain for the last time at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK ahead of their 2-2 draw with 1. FC Köln.
After his final Bundesliga fixture in a black and yellow shirt, Hummels reflected on his eight and a half years with the Westphalian club and looked ahead to the future, including the DFB Cup final against his next employers FC Bayern München.
Question: Mats Hummels, this was your last home game for Dortmund after eight and a half years at the club. What thoughts are running through your mind?
Mats Hummels: It was a strange feeling to know that I was going out here to warm up for the last time, and that I would be saluting the Südtribüne for the last time. That has been such a big part of my life in recent years that now I feel really empty not to have it any more. I'm not a fan of 'last times', but there have been a few - it definitely makes you get sentimental, but that's just how things are. It's a pity, but at the same time it's also nice because I can look back on a nice time here. You've just got to come to terms with having to say goodbye to certain things.
My farewell will hopefully be next Sunday, during a parade through the streets of Dortmund; for eight hours showing off the cup to our fans.
Question: On the one hand, it was your last home game. On the other hand, though, you still have one more game left for the club...
Hummels: It's true, it is still too soon to say my final farewells, especially in my mind because we've got an incredibly important game next week and we're going to be training really hard to prepare for that, because we want to win the cup. At the same time, it's impossible not to think about what I'm going to miss from here and focus only on the football, because these thoughts always creep into your mind. But from a purely footballing perspective, my farewell will hopefully be next Sunday, during a parade through the streets of Dortmund; for eight hours showing off the cup to our fans.
The feeling you get when you win a final and get the trophy handed over to you is second to none.
Question: Dortmund have lost their last three finals – what makes you so confident that this time you will win it?
Hummels: Because of the quality we've got! We've maybe not shown it in our past few games, but that's also understandable, even if we would have liked to have kept our momentum going. We'll work hard this week on getting this intensity back so that we can beat Bayern. You can't beat them if you are just 90 per cent, and not even with 95 per cent. We want to get into this physical and psychological condition to be able to win this game. The feeling you get when you win a final and get the trophy handed over to you is second to none, and we can all still remember the images from 2012.