Today my guest is Mats Hummels.
Hi Mats – shall we start? Sure – but first coffee, please. But first coffee What’ll it be, Mats?
-I’ll have a cappuccino. I’ll stick with a Café Crème. Mats, I have to admit that I’m one of your
80 million Instagram followers, and I saw that you posted a picture of an
espresso and tagged some people in it. Are there others in the team who do it regularly?
Who’s part of this espresso posse? Firstly, I kind of slipped in,
I snuck in… You tricked your way in! I think there’s Mo, Mario, Marwin too, Schmelle,
Ömer was still there when I arrived in the summer. They were the original guys, but together we’re a
group who sometimes have a coffee together. But today – ah, here they
are, thank you! Enough to get me
through the day. Do you say “Cheers” with a
coffee? No, it feels weird. I’d like to ask you about
people you’ve met. Who have you met who’s made
the biggest impression on you? There are a few that
spring to mind. I remember not so long
ago, back in 2018, it was really cool when I was at Wimbledon and
I met Boris Becker – I think you know him too? I met him in person and we had
a chat together over coffee. He showed me around bits of
Wimbledon and explained it to me. When I was young he wasn’t quite the massive
star he had been a few years earlier, but I’ve seen documentaries and videos, and you realise
just how big a global star he was at his peak. He was one of the very best. And it was cool to see how much respect
he gets from people at Wimbledon. He’s a really easy-going guy, and I like listening to him
on commentary because there’s so much tennis on. So that was one of the coolest
encounters I’ve had. Is there anyone who’s
surprised you? Someone you thought you wouldn’t like, but then
after you met them you thought “They’re cool!” Definitely, erm… Would you like to name names? So the question is who did I have a
low opinion of before I met them? That’s not a bad thing. True… how much time do we have?
Can I think about it? I’ll have another sip of coffee.
-I will too. And if it’s too hard, tell me if there’s anyone you’d like
to meet. Someone you haven’t met but you’d like to. I wanted to say Dirk Nowitzki, because I’ve met him too
– though I had a very high opinion of him beforehand! As an answer for someone you’ve met who’s
made the biggest impression on you. I would have said him too, but otherwise… one of my
childhood sporting heroes, I would say. Or someone who’s still a hero,
Roger Federer maybe. I’ve seen him play tennis live, at Wimbledon when I
was there actually, and unfortunately he went out. But I wouldn’t want some 10-minute meet
& greet just exchanging pleasantries, I’d want to have a relaxed
chat over a coffee. So there’s no-one you’d be nervous around,
get their autograph or take a photo with. Or maybe you would
take a photo? I might take a photo, but I’m not someone
who takes lots of photos really. I got a photo with Nowitzki, and I once got
an autograph when I was 10 years old. No, wait – I wanted to get an autograph,
but I didn’t have a pen so I didn’t get it. Who was it? Mehmet Scholl, who lived around
the corner from me in Munich. I didn’t have a pen, so I
said “OK, forget it.” That was the last time I asked
someone for an autograph. That’s the Mats I know! Sometimes
he’s there, sometimes he isn’t. So who inspired you as a kid? Maybe it was
Mehmet Scholl, given that he was a footballer? He inspired me as a kid, and when I made the
step up from the Bayern youth teams, he was one of the players who
gave me lots of advice. He told me what to do, in one-on-ones
for instance, and that was invaluable. In terms of someone who surprised me in a good
way, I’d also like to mention Roy Makaay, because I had no idea
what he was like. One day, when I was a young player, we
were working on one-on-ones in training, and he got the better of me
two or three times. Instead of simply carrying on and beating me every
time, he told me what I was doing wrong, how I could do better, how I had
to approach one-on-ones, and it had an immediate impact
– I improved straight away. It’s a long time ago now! But things
like that helped me so much. Clearly it’s stayed with you. Well, when you break through aged 17 or 18 and play
with great players you’d only seen before on TV, and when they look after you and want you
to improve, it makes a huge difference. You could certainly do worse than learning
from Roy Makaay and Mehmet Scholl! You give your brother
lots of advice. I’m always giving advice! But I’ve heard that he is more than just
your brother – he’s your best friend. We’ve seen that with twins,
who do everything together, so what makes your brotherhood,
your friendship, so special? Firstly, we spent pretty much all
our time together growing up. Our parents got divorced when we were young,
but we spent time with both of them, so luckily we didn’t have to pick one of
them, and we were always together. We spent three or four days together here,
and then three or four days together there. We played so much sport with each other, and we
still do, depending on his knee and how tired I am! Table tennis, back then? Yes, table tennis, tennis, basketball
– everything, really. Obviously we were really competitive, and as
kids do we fell out, sometimes quite badly. But we’ve always got on with each other – you
know me, and he’s just as competitive as I am! And we both know that’s
saying something! So that’s why we have such a bond
– we share so many interests. In sport in general, tennis, basketball and
so on, but away from sport too. We have the same sense of humour, we’re interested
in the same things, so we’re two peas in a pod. You’ve talked about how close you are,
and he followed you into football. Now he’s a pundit, and he’s both analysed
your performances and interviewed you. What’s it like when your brother’s there asking what
happened there, why did you do that, and so on? That was really funny. It was a
weird atmosphere for us, and I really tried to stay serious and not turn
it into some late night comedy prank show. But it was weird when he
asked these questions, and when we had a break and whispered things
to each other that we couldn’t say on air. But he didn’t try to trip you up? Not at all, he wanted to be professional, and he
wants to establish himself as his own person. I think it must be annoying to be always
associated with your brother, so it’s important for him to do his own thing, to
stand on his own two feet as a football pundit, and show that he’s more than
just “Mats’ brother”. I have a few short sentences here, and I’d
like you to give me a quick answer. On my days off, I like to do… Very little, or sport. Which sport?
-Mainly tennis. The last good film or TV
series I saw was… I’m watching You at the moment, I think it’s really good.
-Me too, where are you up to? Episode 5, series 2. Me too, more or less! Is he still alive where
you’ve got to? Who? Oh, right! There’s a spoiler for
those who haven’t got that far. I really like it. Maybe it’s not a 10/10 series
anymore, but I enjoy watching it. The end is incredible.
-Other people have told me that too. We can look forward to that together then.
When I listen to music, I listen to… Lots of different stuff. At the moment, I must admit
I’m listening to quite a lot of German rap, which sometimes confuses the guys
in the dressing room! I sometimes rap along with
someone like Capital Bra, and then Mo Dahoud looks at me and says
“What’s up with you? That’s not you!” But there is more than
one side to you. And then in the car I might listen to
a Ludovico Einaudi playlist, which I really love, depending on my mood.
-I have no idea who that is. -A pianist. He writes for the piano. I really recommend
it – but it depends on your mood. But yes, right now I’m listening to a bit more
German rap than I’d like to admit. OK. I’ll invite Owo onto
my podcast… …when he pays me! That’s not fair! No – let’s say simply: “I’ll invite Owo onto
my podcast.” What do you say to that? I’m OK with that! You might have to be patient, as we
have a few other guests already. OK, moving on: you posted a great picture
of you tackling Erling Haaland, but tell me how much you
enjoy having him here, and how do his easy-going manner and simply
having a fresh face in the team help? Exactly that, he never stops.
He’s so committed. I play against him a lot in training,
so I know why he scores goals! Is he as good as he
is in matches? Obviously he’s on a great little
run at the moment. I like to push myself, but with the talent he has, and
how hard he works in training and in the gym, I’ve no doubt he’ll get even better. He’s always at full throttle – he wants to
score goals, he wants to work hard, he wants to run at his opponents and press them,
and he wants to win every game in training. Those are pretty good
qualities for a footballer. That sounds really good. I’d love to carry on drinking
coffee with you, Mats, so thank you for your time. Thank you for the coffee – our barista
has disappeared already. Thanks again, cheers, and
see you next time.