Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels heaped praise on "goalscoring machine" Erling Haaland, who inspired a 4-2 Bundesliga win over Union Berlin.

Haaland maintained his red-hot form with a brace as Dortmund defeated visiting Union Berlin on Sunday – the 21-year-old becoming the youngest player in history to reach 47 Bundesliga goals in just his 48th appearance.

After Dortmund full-back Raphael Guerreiro opened the scoring in stunning fashion, Haaland doubled Dortmund's lead in the 24th minute via a header.

A Marvin Friedrich own goal seven minutes into the second half virtually put the result beyond doubt, though Max Kruse's penalty gave Union Berlin some hope.

After Andreas Voglsmanner netted a second for Union Berlin, Haaland then produced a stunning lob over Andreas Luthe with seven minutes remaining.

"Did he really score a header today?" German star Hummels told DAZN. "He's been practising a lot.

"He's got so many strengths, now he's also working on his weaknesses.

"When he came to Dortmund from Salzburg [in 2020], his aerial game was pretty bad. [Former head coach] Edin [Terzic], Erling and I spent a lot of time practising crosses, over and over again, and now you can see where that gets you.

"He's definitely going to get 10 more goals a season because of the fact he's improved his aerial game. He's just a goalscoring machine."

Haaland has 68 goals in 67 competitive games overall for Dortmund, including 11 in eight this season.

Hummels added: "Whenever he sees a chance to put the ball in the back of the net, his eyes light up. He's going to be one of the best forwards in the world for the next 15 years."

Haaland has already scored two headers in the Bundesliga this season, as many as he managed in all of 2020-21.

"If Erling scores those headers permanently now, then 'Wow!' and 'Congratulations!' to our upcoming opponents," said Dortmund head coach Marco Rose.

Rose's Dortmund scored for a 37th consecutive Bundesliga game, a club record and the third longest such run in the league's history.

Dortmund are third in the standings – a point adrift of champions and leaders Bayern Munich after five rounds.

Mats Hummels' Germany comeback was marred by an own goal as Euro 2020 favourites France started their campaign with a 1-0 victory in Munich.

Hummels, who scored the winner when Germany knocked France out of the 2014 World Cup, had been in international exile since 2018, yet his return hardly went to plan as he turned into Germany's net 20 minutes into the Group F encounter.

Joachim Low's side never seemed to settle against France's press, and were perhaps fortunate to see Antonio Rudiger go unpunished for a possible bite on Paul Pogba.

Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema had goals disallowed for offside, but Les Blues – who also hit the post through Adrien Rabiot – were not made to pay as they went unbeaten in a Euro opener for a ninth straight time.

A scrappy opening should have been punctuated by a France goal, yet Paul Pogba sent a free header over after meeting Antoine Griezmann's excellent corner.

Making his 100th start for Germany – the first goalkeeper in the nation's history to do so – Manuel Neuer had to parry Mbappe's strike as France purred.

France soon had their opener, however. Mbappe was well placed to finish from Lucas Hernandez's cross, but instead it was Hummels who sliced into his own net with Germany's defence caught cold by an exquisite Pogba pass.

Thomas Muller wasted an immediate chance to equalise, before Pogba seemed to complain Rudiger had bitten him, though the replays were inconclusive. 

France looked all set to double their lead early in the second half, only for Rabiot to hit the near post from close range after ignoring a simple pass to the waiting Griezmann.

Rabiot's chance kicked Germany into gear – Serge Gnabry's volley skidding off the turf and just over Hugo Lloris' crossbar.

A delayed offside flag denied Mbappe a spectacular solo strike in the 66th minute, before the Paris Saint-Germain star skipped beyond Hummels with ease.

To his credit, Hummels recovered with a last-ditch tackle, and though Benzema then had a goal on his major tournament comeback disallowed, three-time champions Germany failed to make their good fortune count.

Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels made their first appearances for Germany since November 2018 as Joachim Low's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Denmark in a Euro 2020 warm-up clash on Wednesday. 

The duo were among the experienced players removed from Low's thinking in March 2019 as he plotted a new path forward following Germany's group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup.

But the pair have been trusted with helping Germany enjoy a successful tournament at the rescheduled Euros, which will be Low's final tournament in charge.

Die Mannschaft were comfortably the better side against Kasper Hjulmand's men, although they were denied a win when Yussuf Poulsen cancelled out Florian Neuhaus' opener 19 minutes from full-time at the Tivoli Stadion Tirol stadium in Austria. 

Germany started on the front foot, with Muller and Neuhaus forcing Kasper Schmeichel into saves inside the opening 15 minutes. 

Leroy Sane spurned a glorious chance to put Low's men ahead shortly before the half-hour mark, the Bayern Munich forward blazing a half-volley well over from 12 yards. 

Serge Gnabry went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock moments before the interval when his curled effort from outside the penalty area crashed against the crossbar.

Germany's pressure told three minutes after the restart when Neuhaus stroked home his second international goal following a goalmouth scramble.

Denmark pulled level after a rare surge into the Germany half, Poulsen firing past Manuel Neuer after being released by Christian Eriksen.

Muller almost capped his return with the winning goal late on, but his flicked effort from Sane's cross bounced back off Schmeichel's post.

Mats Hummels revealed his exile from the Germany team "felt like a personal defeat" as he vowed to make up for lost time at Euro 2020.

The 70-cap defender was ousted from the national squad after the 2018 World Cup when head coach Joachim Low decided Hummels, Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng belonged to Germany's past.

Low said the time had come for "a new beginning", but he performed a U-turn this year when asking Hummels and Muller to return to Die Mannschaft.

Now Hummels and Muller, former Bayern Munich team-mates, could have big roles to play in what will be Low's final tournament in charge.

Germany have upcoming friendlies against Denmark and Latvia before they begin their Euro 2020 quest with a titanic group-stage clash against France on June 15 in Munich.

"I want to be fully involved on the sporting side, but also as a man," Hummels said in a news conference. "I hope that I can take the role on the pitch. As a spokesman and leader, especially when things don't go well, I want to lead the way.

"In the last six months there have been phone calls and messages about what we think about it. Ultimately, it only became concrete in the last two weeks before the squad announcement. Jogi [Low] believes that I can give the team a lot for the tournament. I want to."

Speaking about his time in the international wilderness, Hummels said: "It felt like a personal defeat, it hurt. I have always been proud to play for the national team.

"It was my goal to come back. It's an honour to play for Germany. It is a nice confirmation of the work we have done over the past few years.

"It was nice [to return], I saw many familiar faces again. I was a little nervous and excited upon my arrival and felt a certain tingling sensation. I was looking forward to the day."

No defender won more aerial challenges (129) or made more interceptions (73) than Hummels achieved for Borussia Dortmund in the 2020-21 Bundesliga, and nobody scored more than his five goals among players in his position.

He was top 10 among defenders for duels won, clean sheets, tackles, blocks and headed clearances, and Low could not continue to ignore a player with such high numbers.

Hummels won the DFB-Pokal with Dortmund too, while Muller was a driving force behind Bayern's Bundesliga success.

Of all defenders who entered 150-plus duels in the Bundesliga, only Hummels (68.77) and Borussia Monchengladbach's Matthias Ginter (68.22) – another who features in Low's 26-man squad – had a success rate of above 65 per cent.

Opta defines a duel as a "50-50 contest between two players of opposing sides".

Hungary and Portugal also feature in Germany's group, a testing start to the tournament, but Hummels predicted: "If we bring our quality to the pitch, we will prevail in the group."

He also dispelled any suggestion of possible conflict as the old guard, with their leadership qualities, return to join a squad who had been attuned to their absence.

"We won't take anything away from them; we will act together," Hummels said. "It's about having a competitive spirit in training. Muller and I bring that in, but we're not the only ones."

There is the possibility of Hummels being paired with Antonio Rudiger, a Champions League winner with Chelsea, in Germany's backline.

"We have a lot of good central defenders. Toni has shown that he can be outstanding," Hummels said. "You can even use the word 'world-class' with him."

Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels have each received recalls to the Germany squad for Euro 2020.

Bayern Munich forward Muller and Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels have not featured for their country since November 2018.

They were among the experienced players removed from coach Joachim Low's thinking in March 2019 as he plotted a new path forward following Germany's group-stage exit at the 2018 World Cup.

But the pair have been trusted with helping Germany enjoy a successful tournament at the rescheduled Euros, which will be Joachim Low's final tournament in charge.

Die Mannschaft face an extremely difficult group, having been pitted alongside world champions France, defending European champions Portugal and Hungary.

They start their Group F campaign against France at the Allianz Arena on June 15.

 

Mats Hummels accepts it will be "difficult" for Borussia Dortmund to secure a top-four finish after losing 2-1 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Andre Silva grabbed the winner in the 87th minute at Signal Iduna Park, pushing fourth-placed Frankfurt further clear of their hosts in the battle to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Dortmund sit fifth in the table but are seven points adrift. They have won just once in four Bundesliga outings and have now reached double figures for defeats in the competition this season.

With just seven games remaining, Hummels fears BVB have left themselves with too much to do during the run-in.

The centre-back - who scored just before half-time to cancel out an early own goal by team-mate Nico Schulz - felt the hosts paid the price for not taking their chances before losing control of the game.

"On the one hand, we clearly have to hold our hands up for our chance conversion. We had so many opportunities, especially situations that should be 100 per-cent chances," Hummels told Sky Sports in Germany after Dortmund had managed to get just five of their 19 attempts on target.

"In the second half, we never managed to get into central positions in front of goal or create a good situation. We also allowed the game to get really out of control.

"In that regard, there were parallels to the Cologne game [which ended in a 2-2 prior to the international break]. We were not precise, focused or just technically good enough on the ball. We obviously should have also made better use of the chances that we had.

"We now need to ensure that we pick up wins. Unfortunately, we've dug ourselves another big hole with our most recent games. Even with six or seven wins, it's going to be difficult to get fourth place.

"We need to put in the performances in the Bundesliga and then see where that gets us. In the cup competitions, we want to try to make it through."

Dortmund - who had won nine on the spin at home against Frankfurt prior to Saturday's meeting - face Manchester City next in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie.

The possibility of missing out on appearing in the competition again next season will raise questions over the club's ability to hang on to their prized asset in Erling Haaland, who has been linked with a host of Europe's leading clubs. 

Mino Raiola - the striker's agent - was in Spain this week to hold talks with Barcelona and Real Madrid, while he was reportedly set to do the same with a select number of Premier League teams on Friday, too.

However, Dortmund director Sebastian Kehl has made clear there is no cause for panic within the club, despite the consistent rumours surrounding Haaland's future.

"Our position is clear: we are planning with Erling," Kehl told Sky. "We are very relaxed about the situation."

City are one of those teams rumoured to be interested in Haaland - who has scored 10 goals in six Champions League games this campaign - but Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of signing the 20-year-old ahead of going up against him in Europe."

Joachim Low insisted it was not the right time to discuss possible recalls for Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels in the aftermath of Germany's shock 2-1 loss to North Macedonia.

Eljif Elmas scored late on in Duisburg - Ilkay Gundogan having earlier cancelled out Goran Pandev's opener from the penalty spot - to inflict a first World Cup qualifying defeat on Germany since September 2001 - a run spanning 35 matches.

The defeat leaves Die Mannschaft third in Group J, level on points with North Macedonia and three points behind pacesetters Armenia, who have won all three matches so far.

Speaking to RTL after the game, Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeness suggested Low - who has announced he will end his tenure as head coach after Euro 2020 - should bring Muller and Hummels back into the national team.

The duo, as well as Bayern defender Jerome Boateng, have not played for their country since November 2018, but Low recently hinted each player remains in his plans for this year's tournament.

"Hummels is a player with strong aerial ability and someone who has a lot of experience," Hoeness said. "He can definitely give this team something.

"Muller also definitely belongs in the squad. He's always good for goals and can help any team in the world in certain situations."

But when asked again about those absent players after the North Macedonia game, Low told RTL: "This question cannot be answered now. The decision will be made in May. It is something to think about in the next few days and weeks."

The defeat for Germany was just their third ever in World Cup qualifying and leaves them with work to do when they resume their campaign in September.

There may well have been a different outcome on Wednesday had Timo Werner made more of a glorious chance that fell his way five minutes before Elmas' winner, the substitute forward dragging wide in a one-on-on opportunity.

"He has to score that, no question about it," Low said of Werner's late miss, coming from the Chelsea attacker's only touch of the ball in the opposition penalty area.

"He doesn't hit the ball properly, otherwise it's a goal. Timo blames himself the most. That was a bad moment in a period in which we were on top in the game."

Low had previously criticised his players for their profligacy in the 1-0 win over Romania on Sunday, which followed on from a 3-0 victory at home to Iceland.

Germany had 11 shots against North Macedonia but tested visiting goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski with just two of those, with Serge Gnabry - the match-winner against Romania last time out - wasting two chances of his own in the first half.

"There is no magic formula," Low said. "You can train all you want, but it is difference in a competitive match. We were too hesitant to finish.

"We weren't consistent. With the score at 1-1, Timo had that huge chance. We have to look back at the chances and talk about it."

Gundogan had drawn Germany on level terms but his side were caught out at the back for a second time for the winning goal.

"The fact is, that should not be happening," Gundogan said. "It felt like they were in front of our goal twice and scored twice - it was too easy for them.

"We had many chances and only scored one goal. We didn't defend well with either goal - twice they had a man in the middle completely free.

"I leave with a bad feeling. It hurts all the more that we won't play again for three months. We have to get in top form by the end of May and prepare for the Euros."

Teenagers Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz have been called up to Germany's senior squad for the first time, but there is still no place for Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng. 

Musiala, 18, pledged his allegiance to Germany last month having previously represented England at every level from Under-15 to Under-21. 

The versatile attacker played in the Chelsea academy from 2011 until 2019 before opting to move back to Germany, where the Stuttgart-born youngster has since made quite the impression at Bayern Munich. 

He has made 18 Bundesliga appearances this term – only four players who are younger than him (18 years, 21 days) have played in more matches across the top five European leagues this term. 

One of those is Wirtz, who has shown immense promise at Bayer Leverkusen since making his debut shortly after his 17th birthday in May last year. 

With four goals and as many assists in 21 Bundesliga games, Wirtz – a technically gifted attacking midfielder – is one of only two players under the age of 20 (along with Arnaud Kalimuendo) across the top European leagues to be involved in eight league goals. 

Similarly, across those same leagues, Adil Aouchiche (46) is the only individual yet to turn 20 with more key passes than Wirtz's tally of 37.

Joachim Low, who earlier this month confirmed he will leave his post later this year, is urging both players to relax despite the added pressures that come with international recognition. 

"We are excited to get to know Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz even better," he told the German Football Association (DFB). "They earned the nomination with their recent good performances. 

"But especially with such young players, our responsibility is to be careful with them and lead them step by step to the highest level. 

"Both have huge potential, and I am sure that we will have a lot of fun with them in the next few years, but at the moment it is important not to rush into anything, they should take it easy and develop carefree. I think the next few days will be a good experience for Jamal and Florian." 

Amin Younes, who has been impressing with Eintracht Frankfurt this term, has earned his first call-up since October 2017, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Emre Can, Lukas Klostermann and Kai Havertz all return after missing the November internationals, which included a 6-0 humiliation by Spain. 

However, there is still no recall for Bayern duo Muller and Boateng, nor Borussia Dortmund centre-back Hummels. 

All three World Cup winners were cast aside by Low in March last year as he looked to refresh the squad in the wake of the 2018 World Cup failure. 

Earlier this month, Low did not rule out potentially bringing them back into the fold given their solid form at club level, yet he has ignored them again on this occasion as Germany begin their World Cup qualification campaign with games against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia.

Germany head coach Joachim Low has insisted no final decision has been made on possible recalls for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

The experienced pair have not played for their country since being told by Low in March 2019 that they, along with Jerome Boateng, had no future with the national team.

Low's decision to focus on younger talent has not always paid dividends, though, and last November's 6-0 demolition by Spain prompted loud calls from the likes of Mesut Ozil to bring those senior players back into the fold.

A report in Kicker claimed Muller and Hummels are set to be handed places in Low's Euro 2020 squad, which will be his last major tournament in charge before he steps down after 15 years in the role.

While insisting he has made no promises over either player's future, Low did admit the impact of the coronavirus pandemic could mean his planned "upheaval" of the team may have to be put on hold.

"I neither opened nor closed the door," he said when asked about Muller and Hummels' possible return.

"I said that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn't interrupt a radical change. We have the pandemic situation, and perhaps you can consider: should I interrupt the upheaval [of the squad] for a tournament?"

Muller, 31, has played 100 times for Germany since making his debut in 2010 and, like Hummels – who has 70 caps – he was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2014.

Muller's club form in the past two years, particularly during Bayern's treble triumph in 2019-20, has led to a clamour for his return to the national team.

Since the start of last season, as well as scoring 27 goals in all competitions, he has provided 37 assists, the most of any player in Europe's top-five leagues apart from Kevin De Bruyne (38).

Only two Bundesliga players – Erling Haaland (65) and Robert Lewandowski (109) – have had more direct goal involvements than Muller in that time.

Speaking of a possible Germany comeback, he said: "I feel comfortable in the [Bayern] team. Standing on the pitch with the boys is fun, and there are a lot of national team players on the pitch.

"I feel like chasing titles in the summer. We will see if it is the end for me after the Champions League final or whether I will play for the national team. I'm definitely ready."

Thomas Muller has declared himself ready to return to international duty after Germany boss Joachim Low hinted at a recall for the Bayern Munich attacker ahead of Euro 2020.

Low said last week he is considering a U-turn that would see Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng return from the wilderness in time for the rescheduled tournament.

The World Cup-winning trio were told by Low in March 2019 that they would no longer be part of his plans, which left Muller – a regular up until that point – "dumbfounded".

However, with Low under pressure on the back of November's 6-0 thrashing against Spain, the long-serving coach has reiterated the door is once again open for the trio.

Speaking to Sky Sport Germany on Saturday, Low said: "The European Championship is a separate competition and our job is to bring the best players and the best team with us in order to guarantee the greatest possible success."

The three players have a combined 246 caps and have impressed at club level since last featuring for Germany, with Muller and Boateng helping Bayern to six major trophies since the start of last season.

Muller, who has a combined 50 goals and assists in the Bundesliga since the start of last season – only team-mate Robert Lewandowski (75) has more – would welcome the chance to represent his country again this year.

"I feel comfortable in the team. Standing on the pitch with the boys is fun, and there are a lot of national team players on the pitch," he said.

"I feel like chasing titles in the summer. We will see if it is the end for me after the Champions League final or whether I will play for the national team. I'm definitely ready."

Muller played 91 minutes of Bayern's 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's Der Klassiker, a game in which Boateng was forced off in the second half with a knee injury.

Boateng has had numerous setbacks in the past and Bayern boss Hansi Flick is awaiting news on the severity of this latest injury.

"We don't know exactly what he has done," Flick said. "He said he thought he twisted his knee a bit, but we have to wait for the diagnosis. He is having a scan."

Germany head coach Joachim Low is considering a dramatic U-turn that would see Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels invited back to the national team.

With the delayed Euro 2020 finals coming up in June, Low wants Germany to be as strong as possible, and a 6-0 thrashing by Spain in November was a result that pointed to a need for a change in direction.

Low's own future has come in for scrutiny, and there have even been suggestions Bayern Munich's treble-winning boss Hansi Flick could replace him.

The 2014 World Cup-winning coach declared in March 2019 that it was time for Germany to move on from the old guard, stating that Muller, Hummels and Jerome Boateng – all world champions themselves – would no longer be part of his plans.

It was a decision that Muller at the time said left him "dumbfounded", and Bayern were also critical, with all three players belonging to the Bavarian giants at that time.

Hummels has since moved on to Borussia Dortmund where the 32-year-old defender remains one of German football's star performers. Only Arminia Bielefeld's towering striker Fabian Klos (146) has won more balls in the air this season than Hummels (118) and just two players have made more blocks than his 22, taking all competitions into account.

Bayern midfielder Muller is one of only two players from the Bundesliga to reach doubles figures for goals and assists in all competitions this term, posting 13 and 12 respectively, with Dortmund's Jadon Sancho the other.

"Special circumstances can justify an interruption in the upheaval," Low said in an interview with Kicker magazine.

On the specific matter of Hummels, Boateng and Muller, Low said: "That will be a difficult and important question, also for me

"The character of Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels is that they do not oppress others."

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