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The Daily Bee (March 11th, 2021): Hummels Set to be Recalled to German National Team

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... Plus the Champions League quarter finals will take place without Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi.

Sevilla FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Good Morning folks!

We’re now halfway through the first knockout ties in the Champions League, and the first four teams in the quarter final are set. Porto, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint Germain, and Liverpool have confirmed their place in the next stage of the tournament.

The results, with highlights, are as follows:

Juventus 3-2 Porto (Agg. 4-4, Porto win AET on away goals)

Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Sevilla (Agg. 5-4)

Liverpool 2-0 RB Leipzig (Agg. 4-0)

Paris Saint Germain 1-1 Barcelona (Agg. 5-2)

There was a ton of action across the four ties, with the Juventus vs Porto and Borussia Dortmund vs Sevilla games being absolute barnburners. Even PSG vs Barcelona had some twists and turns and a little bit of suspense.

There are also some interesting narratives developing, including the rise of the new Mbappe vs Haaland era. In order for the new era to be beckoned in, the old one has to die, and we may be witnessing that in process now. For the first time in 16 years, the quarter finals of the Champions League will not feature Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

I think it might be a little too soon to start counting either of them out just yet, but it certainly seems to indicate that we are approaching the end of the road for this incredible rivalry between two of the greatest players in history. If Mbappe, Haaland, and whoever might challenge the two forwards for the throne, can replicate a small fraction of what these two have done, we’re in for a treat.

As to the remainder of the Champions League ties, they will be settled next week. To refresh your memory, the fixtures are as follows:

Man City vs Borussia Monchengladbach (2-0)

Real Madrid vs Atalanta (1-0)

Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid (1-0)

Bayern Munich vs Lazio (4-1)

Joachim Löw to Select Hummels & Müller for Euro 2020

FC Bayern Munich - Borussia Dortmund Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Having made the announcement that he will step down after this summer’s European Championships, Joachim Löw is now entirely focused on getting the best possible result in the short-term and leaving on a high. As a result, it looks like he is planning to reverse the controversial decision to oust Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller ahead of the Euros.

According to Kicker, Löw plans to call up the World Cup winners for the tournament in the summer, having abruptly removed Hummels, Müller, and Jerome Boateng from contention for the national team two years ago. It doesn’t seem that Löw has any plans to call up Boateng, but that presumably has more to do with a) the fact he is currently injured, and b) questions over whether he is still good enough. If he is fit and playing well enough, I’m sure he will also be in contention for the Euros too.

This is obviously the correct decision, and it should have happened a long time ago. In fact, everyone would have been better off if Löw had never enforced this weird international retirement in the first place. With Muller and Hummels, Germany become a much stronger team. Muller is still one of the best players in the world, and will walk straight back into the starting lineup, and at this stage, I think Hummels is still Germany’s best center back. However, it does make you question what the last two years was for...

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Who do you think will win the European Championships this summer?