To date, Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels has not played for the German national team seen Hansi Flick took charge for Joachim Low after the European Championships in the summer of 2021. His last appearance for Die Mannschaft came in Germany’s 2-0 loss to England at Wembley stadium in the round of 16 in the aforementioned competition. He has not been called up to the squad by Flick for any of their 15 matches since the Euros, which were comprised of World Cup qualifiers, international friendlies and UEFA Nations League matches despite being a regular feature for Dortmund.
To be fair to Flick, he still does have quite a few center backs to choose from between Niklas Suler, Nico Schlotterbeck, Antonio Rudiger, Matthias Ginter, Lukas Klostermann, and Johnathan Tah. Of course, he still has several weeks to finalize his roster for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar and former Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Michael Ballack recently staked his claim for Flick to consider including Hummels.
“I think he [Hummels] belongs in the team in terms of performance, at his current level. But the coach has to decide that,” Ballack recently said in a television appearance on MagentaTV (Sport1). He didn’t just blindly make that recommendation, though. For Ballack, if Flick was to call up Hummels to Germany’s World Cup squad, there would need to be clearly defined guidelines as to what, exactly, his role would be in the team. With how long he’s been out of Die Mannschaft’s setup, he shouldn’t realistically expect to be the first name on the team sheet on the off-chance Flick does change his mind.
“The role must also be clearly defined for him. Is he a player who accepts coming off the bench? Is he someone who wants to play because he can or wants to be that leader? That’s the question,” Ballack explained of Hummels’ potential involvement with Germany at the World Cup.