For his strong performances for Germany at Euro 2012 and his subsequent impression with Dortmund in the Champions League, Mats Hummels is rapidly becoming a household name.
The 24-year-old center-back has long been considered a gem in Germany. During his days with the Bayern reserves, coach Hermann Gerland confidently asserted that "[Hummels] and Holger Badstuber will soon play together in the national team." And indeed, Gerland was proven right at the Euros.
Abroad, though, it's taken time for Hummels' reputation to develop. Even though his Dortmund conceded just 22 goals in both 2010-11 and 2011-12 (the fewest in the Bundesliga in both seasons), he only has become a serious transfer target for the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona in the last one-and-a-quarter years. In the meantime, Hummels extended his contract with Dortmund until 2017.
In tying down Hummels until 2017, Dortmund have secured the long-term services of a defender with rare versatility. No center-back has quite the same breadth of skills as the man who wears the No. 5 shirt for Germany. Click "Begin Slideshow" for a detailed analysis of the characteristics that make Hummels the most complete center-back in Europe.