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Uli Hoeneß defends Hummels for playing sick

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Bayern’s president stands with Mats Hummels; tells story of playing in a high-stakes game with a fever

Johan Cruyff of Holland

Since Bayern Munich’s loss to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, there have been plenty of critics who have dissected everything about the performance, trying to assign blame. Much has been made about Mats Hummels playing with a cold, but in an interview with AZ Bayern’s president, Uli Hoeneß, has spoken up in defense of the central defender.

Hoeneß also told a story from his time as player. The night before the 1974 World Cup Final he had a fever of 39° C (102.2° F), but Hoeneß didn’t tell anyone out of fear that he would not play. He believes that he still had the fever the next day of 37.5°-38° (99.5°-100.4° F) during the game. In that game Hoeneß fouled Dutch legend, Johann Cruyff early in the game causing a penalty, which the Netherlands capitalized on. Luckily, for the fevered Hoeneß, his teammates were able to overcome an early deficit and win 2-1, clinching the second World Cup title for Die Mannschaft.

According to Hoeneß, manager Nico Kovac spoke to Hummels at halftime and asked him if he wanted to come out. He goes on to say that there was no pressure, because they had Niklas Süle, who can play at anytime. He warned that people should not get carried away with things like this.

About the game, Hoeneß had nothing but good things to say. He said that every friend of the game got their money’s worth out of that one. He also praised his team, saying that they played well for an hour against a top-team, who is also at the top of the table in Germany.