Hummels delighted to play role in nervous Germany victory

The 23-year-old was only too happy to get the nod over Per Mertesacker in die Mannschaft's 1-0 win over Portugal, but warned that they have a long way to go
Mats Hummels has spoken of his delight at being entrusted with a centre-back spot over Per Mertesacker by Joachim Low for Germany's 1-0 win against Portugal on Sunday night.

Despite a sub-par performance in the warm-up friendly against Switzerland, the Borussia Dortmund defender was chosen to partner Holger Badstuber at centre-back, and went on to put in one of his finest performances at international level.

However, he has now admitted that he was nervous prior to kick-off, but was delighted with the showing he eventually put in.

"On Friday night I was informed that I would play," he revealed at a press conference on Sunday.

"But there had been signs before in training with the way the coach treated me. I knew there was a chance that I would play and I am happy that was the case."

"I am happy that I contributed my part to our victory," he added. "Needless to say, I feel very positive about that.

"It was very nice that the coach trusted me. That is the most important thing for every player, to feel that you are needed when everybody is fit.

"There was a bigger anxiety compared to a normal Bundesliga match. I wanted to gain safety in the first minutes and the longer the match lasted, the less nervous I got."

Hummels went on to say that he knew how important his role would be after Netherlands' surprise reversal at the hands of Denmark.

"The game might have looked tough from the outside," he said.

"Both teams saw Netherlands struggle against Denmark and nobody wanted to concede, because we know how difficult it is to come back after conceding a goal. All teams know how to defend well nowadays.

"The important thing is that I helped the team, but history is not written after one game."

Germany's next match, against arch-rivals Netherlands, kicks off at 20:45CET on Wednesday.

Who do you think should be International's World Player of the Week this week? Leave your nomination in the comments section of THIS article between 10.00 every Sunday and 11.00CET every Monday. We will include some of the best suggestions in our winners piece.