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Bayern Munich Alumni: New focus on fitness has Mats Hummels on radar of return to Germany for the World Cup

Will the veteran be selected to go to Qatar for the World Cup?

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 - German Bundesliga Photo by Dennis Bresser/Soccrates/Getty Images

Former Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has rejuvenated his career at Borussia Dortmund by changing his diet and getting healthy after a few seasons riddled with various ailments.

Hummels’ recent form has him firmly on the radar of Germany manager Hansi Flick for a World Cup roster spot per Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Hansi Flick has opened the door for Mats Hummels to return to the national team for the World Cup following his strong performances with BVB, despite not being called up recently. Hummels would be happy to be included in the 26-man World Cup squad even as a substitute.

Hummels acknowledged that the wheels could be in motion for a return to the German national team.

“We are in regular contact (with Hansi Flick) and discussing how we see the situation,” said Hummels.

The veteran center-back’s leadership could prove invaluable, but his experience and recent form also make him an attractive option for Flick. Borussia Dortmund’s Niklas Süle and Real Madrid’s Antonio Rüdiger are lockdown starters for Flick with BVB’s Nico Schlotterbeck as the only other center-back that looks to be guaranteed a spot. SC Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter and West Ham United’s Thilo Kehrer are versatile enough to play both outside-back and center-back, which could make them attractive options to Flick as well.

Hummels has helped get himself back into consideration for a roster spot due a renewed commitment to his fitness and nutrition per Sport1:

What many didn’t know until now: For two years now, the now 33-year-old defender has been working with nutrition expert Nahni Franke, who also looks after other top athletes such as sprint star Gina Lückenkemper (who won EM gold over 100m).

Hummels made the change after some self-examination.

“Some time ago I noticed that I could still get a lot out of nutrition, which is why I started working with Nahni,” Hummels said.

The big key for Hummels is avoiding sweets per Franke.

“Mats had a real sweet tooth,” said Franke. “It was difficult for him to avoid chocolate or ice cream. So we came up with the idea of ​​developing our ‘foodballs.’ You feel like you’re snacking on something sweet and sinning, but at the end of the day there’s only good stuff in there that helps the body and serves as a tasty fuel.”

Hummels just loves the taste of those nutritious balls in his mouth.

“Since I’ve known Nahnis ‘foodballs’, I can do without sweets much better,” said Hummels, who is also eating more plant-based foods. “I actually eat a lot less fish and meat. Not without it, but a lot less. I leave out wheat. I also eat a lot of vegan dishes.”

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