For Bayern Munich’s Mats Hummels, soccer success is a family affair – Los Angeles Times

Mats Hummels was a key player on the 2014 team that brought Germany its first World Cup championship in a generation. And this season he’s anchored a Bayern Munich defense that has conceded a league-low 15 goals in 28 games while closing in on what is certain to be an unprecedented fifth consecutive Bundesliga title.

A berth in a second European Championship final is within reach as well.

That’s a resume few players in soccer history can challenge. But if you ask Hummels, the real sporting pioneer in his family is his mother, Ulla Holthoff, a former water polo star who became the first woman to serve as a soccer commentator on German television.

“That’s really impressive,” Hummels said. “It was tough. The men were used to working with men. I know that was sometimes really tough for her to be as strong as necessary in those situations.


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