Die Mannschaft picked up a draw against Serbia on Thursday when they played their first match after the controversial “forced retirement” of the Weltmeister trio. Joachim Löw’s unprecedented decision to leave out Mats Hummels, Thomas Müller and Jerome Boateng from the national team for the foreseeable future and suggesting a premature retirement has triggered lots of debate among fans and pundits.
Some argued that the decision of the coach is unfair in all aspects, while others made the point that the communication of the decision is just not how you should treat players who have given their all for the club in the past. Meanwhile, some people simply feel that the trio have seen their best years and the boss’ decision would only do good for the team as a whole.
Jonathan Tah was paired with Niklas Süle at center-back against Serbia, and the former was seen wearing the number 5, which has been used by Mats Hummels since Euro 2012. With that number comes seven years of history, hard work, tears, caps, and, of course, a World Cup. Therefore, the Leverkusen defender didn’t want to just take the number away — especially when the circumstances of Hummels’ retirement was negative.
Before accepting the number, Tah called Hummels and asked for his blessing. Tah confirmed that the Bavarian is okay with giving the number away and are no hard feelings whatsoever. It obviously was a very nice gesture from the youngster, and Hummels was incredibly happy about it. He said (via AZ):
He called me, it was an incredibly nice, very nice gesture from him, and I told him that several times.
The Germans will face a mighty Dutch squad on Sunday at 3:45PM EST in the Euro 2020 qualification round.