Germany crashing out of the World Cup in the group stages was nothing short of devastating; there’s simply no denying that. It’s often said, though, that a barometer of a man’s true character comes with how he responds in the most difficult moments, and Bayern Munich’s Mats Hummels perfectly emulated that after the final whistle against South Korea.
Heads were down, morale was completely deflated, and Die Mannschaft was heartbroken to have been eliminated during the group stages for the first time in history. Hummels, however, still took the time to show his character as a true professional. After the final whistle had gone, he took the time to swap jerseys with Korean defender Kim Young-Kwon with what the South Korean described as a positive attitude. As reported by @miasanmia_kr (and retweeted by Bayern’s official U.S. Twitter account), Hummels told Kwon to wait until they got inside the tunnel to exchange jerseys, but Kwon got caught celebrating with his teammates and the Korean fans thinking that the opportunity had passed him. However, when he eventually made his way to the team’s dressing room, Hummels was waiting for him at the door with his jersey.
Bravo @matshummels!— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) July 17, 2018
The #FCBayern star has been blowing up in South Korea after one of their #WorldCup players (Kim Young Kwon) told the story of Mats going out of his way to exchange jerseys with a positive attitude, even after the disappointing result. Class Act. pic.twitter.com/W12v4hIBhH
Mr Kim said - He wanted to exchange the jersey with Mats. Then Mats said 'do it after go inside'. Kim gave up inwardly. However - after long ceremony with Korean fans, when Kim came back his dressing room, Mats was waiting for him in front of the room with his jersey. CLASS.— 별 (@miasanmia_kr) July 17, 2018
If this isn’t the ultimate sign of respect amidst a time of incredible heartbreak, than I don’t know what is. The level of respect that this shows needs to be spread to as many people as possible because it’s what the game itself is all about and completely emulates everything Mia San Mia. Personally, Hummels had a few golden chances to score in the later stages of the second half before Korea had scored their first goal, so the result must’ve been that much more devastating for him knowing that he came so close. Still, though, Hummels held his head up high and exemplified what it means to show respect. Thank you, Mats!