Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke admits they will feel a great loss now that Mats Hummels has played his last game for the club.
The 27-year-old defender made his final appearance for Dortmund on Saturday night as they lost on penalties to his past and future employers, FC Bayern München, in the DFB-Pokal final.
It was not the farewell the Dortmund captain had hoped for as he was forced off through injury on 78 minutes and had to watch on in disappointment as Bayern lifted the trophy to complete the domestic double.
Watzke expressed pride in the player Hummels became during his time at Signal Iduna Park and said he would always be welcome at the club.
“The departure of Mats is in every way for us a great loss. Mats was a face of BVB. He is an incredibly good guy,” Watzke said after the 4-3 shoot-out defeat.
“It’s really hard that Mats is now gone, but it is so in football. We are indebted to him, he marked an era and he will always be extremely welcome at BVB.
“We are extremely proud that he played eight-and-a-half years for us.”
The Germany international, who will rejoin the Bundesliga champions in the off-season on a five-year contract, wished Thomas Tuchel’s side continued success, having led the team to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal in recent times.
“It was an outstanding time. I wish that BVB will remain just as successful,” Hummels said.
“There are great guys in the team and I’m happy that they will play a few more years here. Thank you for the wonderful time, it was terrific.”