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Reus and Hummels close the circle with Champions League return to Wembley

Eleven years after losing 2-1 to Bayern in the 2013 UCL final, Hummels, Reus and Dortmund have overcome the odds and are heading back to Wembley

Update : 10 May 2024, 01:40 AM

Eleven years after losing 2-1 to German rivals Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final, Mats Hummels, Marco Reus and Borussia Dortmund have overcome the odds and are heading back to Wembley.

Dortmund's 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital Tuesday saw the Germans complete a 2-0 aggregate win, becoming the most unlikely Champions League finalists since Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

In the June 1 final in London, they will face either Bayern again or 14-time champions Real Madrid.

That tie stands 2-2 after the first leg in Germany and reaches its conclusion in Madrid Wednesday.

Drawn in a group with PSG, 2023 semi-finalists AC Milan and surprise English side Newcastle United, Dortmund were tipped by most not to make it out of the group. 

Despite being dominated in a 2-0 loss at Parc des Princes by PSG in their first group stage match in September, Dortmund recovered to top the group. 

Wins over PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid set up a rematch with PSG in the semi-finals, where Dortmund - who are set to finish fifth in the Bundesliga after a disappointing domestic campaign - were again considered heavy underdogs. 

Alongside center-back partner Nico Schlotterbeck, the 34-year old Hummels stood tall, helping Dortmund keep PSG's array of attacking talent including their standout forward Kylian Mbappe at bay across both ties. 

He added a goal of his own in the second leg and was named man of the match by UEFA in both games.

The 2014 World Cup winner, who left Dortmund for Bayern in 2016 wanting to win the Champions League before returning in 2019, is now 90 minutes from winning one of the few trophies he is yet to claim across a glittering career. 

'The beauty of football' 

Dortmund were dogged in victory but also rode their luck, with PSG hitting the woodwork six times across the two ties. 

Fortune also shone on Hummels himself, with the defender's second-half foul on Ousumane Dembele taking place just millimeters from the penalty box.

Speaking after the match, Dortmund coach Edin Terzic said the return of Hummels and Reus to Wembley was "the beautiful side of football".

"They've both been very influential in the success we've had over the past few years. 

"Mats started all of our games in the Champions League and that just shows how important he is to us. He played a great game."

A Dortmund junior product who broke through at Borussia Moenchengladbach before returning in 2012, Reus made it to the Champions League final in his first season at the club. 

He announced Friday he would leave Dortmund at the end of the season, prompting Terzic to suggest Tuesday that Reus's return to Wembley 11 years after the Bayern defeat was "the closing of a circle".

"Everyone invested everything that the two could have the opportunity to make amends in the Champions League final and we're incredible happy for both of them," said Terzic.

'We're all believing'

PSG began the second half well but their flurry was cut short when Hummels headed in from a corner on the 50-minute mark, giving Dortmund a 2-0 lead in the tie. 

Hummels' headers have a history of breaking French hearts. 

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Hummels nodded in the only goal in Germany's 1-0 quarter-final win over France on their way to a fourth crown. 

Talking to Amazon Prime, Hummels said "you noticed how quiet things got in the stadium here" as it dawned on PSG fans that their wait for the trophy they covet most would continue at least another year. 

Hummels said his side was not content simply with another appearance in the final.

"We'll face a tough opponent but we all believe," he said. 

"We have believed since the second game of the group phase that we can do it in the Champions League. 

"We've shown so often that we can. And there's no reason to believe that we can't do it."

Hummels' contract expires at the end of the season and he has said he will not decide until the summer where he plays next season - or whether he plays on at all. 

But while the veteran may join Reus in walking off into the Westfalenstadion sunset, his whereabouts on the first Saturday in June remains clear. 

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