Mats Hummels: Borussia Dortmund have no reason to believe they cannot win Champions League final

Mats Hummels scored the goal that sent Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final where they will face Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund: Semi-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund: Semi-final Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund made a special night of their away trip to Paris Saint-Germain’s stadium in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie, winning the game 1-0 and advancing to their first final since 2013. PSG did everything they could to try to set the Park de Princes alight, but it was Dortmund who found the spark needed to advance to the next round.

BVB's winning result came down to a very strong and composed team-wide performance, but it would be veteran defender Mats Hummels who stole the show, scoring the goal that would send Dortmund through to the final. In his post-match interview, Hummels described the goal as a moment that took the pressure off of BVB a bit.

"It [the goal] a little bit of the pressure off. We knew now, ok, we have a little bit of breathing space. Your opponent starts to think…they start to believe in not winning today. I don’t score that many goals in the Champions League, so it was the fifth one in my whole career. So yeah I’m happy, it was an important one."

Mats Hummels

Hummels also lauded the cross from teammate Julian Brandt, who put the ball into the box perfectly for the former Dortmund captain to open the scoring for his side. Hummels described having a similar moment in training, and that the pressure of these moments is what every professional footballer trains for. Throughout this iteration of the Champions League, Hummels' vast experience has become indispensable to the club.

Aside from the goal, Hummels defensive solidity and leadership shone through once again as he had a stellar performance at the back for his side, shutting down Kylian Mbappe and other members of the Parisian attack at every juncture of the match. The tackle on Mbappé where Hummels took the ball off his foot as he was about to shoot comes to mind as a quintessential Hummels tackle; strong and applied with surgical precision.

Because of the scintillating Dortmund nada Hummels out in on both legs, the veteran defender threw down the gauntlet for the final, stating that Dortmund have what it takes to lift the trophy in June:

"We will - no matter against whom - we will meet a very strong opponent. It will also be a fight with the atmosphere, with the meaning of the game. But we have already done well today. Since the second game in the group stage, we believe that we can survive in the Champions League. There is no reason at all for us not to believe that we can also win the final."

Mats Hummels

Hummels, alongside Reus, will be attending their second Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund, the last time being their final at Wembley against Bayern Munich in 2013. A chance to contest a final of this calibre is not a common occurrence, and it will be up to the team’s leaders on the pitch, like Hummels, to help use their previous experience to guide this club to a level of glory not experienced in Dortmund since 1997.