Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel reveals there was an awkward atmosphere at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday with some fans jeering club captain Mats Hummels.
BVB ran out comfortable 5-1 winners over VfL Wolfsburg, but the result was overshadowed by pre-match speculation surrounding their skipper.
Reports earlier in the week suggested Hummels had requested a transfer to their bitter rivals FC Bayern München, which the central defender subsequently denied, but his name was still booed when it was announced before kickoff and a chorus of whistling erupted around the stadium every time he touched the ball.
However, other sections of the crowd began trying to drown out the whistling with applause to show their support to the 27-year-old, creating a strange atmosphere inside the stadium throughout the match.
“It wasn’t hard to imagine that the fans would want to give voice to their dissatisfaction,” Tuchel said after the game. “A very ambivalent mood could be felt in the stadium.
“He was whistled whenever he was on the ball at first, but then the majority of the crowd attempted to drown that out with applause and take a stand.
“It is not pleasant for your captain to have to deal with such an atmosphere in your own stadium. I think there is a difference between whistling and offensive songs which go too far in their content.
“Since this came to light on Thursday, there has been a strong feeling of solidarity. The team is a tight-knit group. Mats was able to rely on his teammates continuing to play with him as normal – irrespective of what happens.
“That gave him the sense of security to allow him to stay calm and relaxed, and to play a strong game.”