Borussia Dortmund officials have paid tribute to defender Mats Hummels as he prepares to join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
The 27-year-old made his farwell appearance for Dortmund in Saturday's German Cup Final against Bayern - who confirmed Hummels' signing on a five-year deal earlier this month - but could not prevent his side from slipping to defeat on penalties.
And to compound the German international's misery, he was forced to limp off with cramp 11 minutes from the end of normal time.
Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, however, was full of praise for the outgoing captain.
"The departure of Mats is in every way for us a great loss," he said. "Mats was a face of BVB. He is an incredibly good guy.
"It's really hard that Mats is now gone, but it is so in football. We are indebted to him, he marked an era and he will always be extremely welcome at BVB.
"We are extremely proud that he played eight-and-a-half years for us."
Hummels himself, meanwhile, reflected positively upon his spell at the club, during which time they won two league titles, along with one DFB Pokal and two DFL-Supercups.
"It was an outstanding time," he said. "I wish that BVB will remain just as successful.
"There are great guys in the team and I'm happy that they will play a few more years here.
"Thank you for the wonderful time; it was terrific."
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