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“Extremely Stable” and Ahead of His Time: Waldemar Anton Will Succeed Mats Hummels at BVB

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The children at the Weisendorf primary school near Herzogenaurach have something that Borussia Dortmund would like: an autograph from Waldemar Anton. Before the group final of the home European Championship against Switzerland on Sunday (9 p.m./ARD and MagentaTV), the national player took time for the kids, but BVB will probably have to wait until after the EURO. However, it has been certain since Friday that the 27-year-old will then leave VfB Stuttgart and join the Champions League finalists.

“Extremely Stable” and Ahead of His Time.

Dortmund is using an exit clause in the defender’s contract, which was only extended at VfB in January until 2027. The successor to Mats Hummels is expected to cost 20 to 25 million euros – money well spent. Anton, said national coach Julian Nagelsmann about the backup for defensive leader Antonio Rüdiger, is an “extremely stable defender with a big heart, big emotions and a great capacity for suffering”.

A real “worker” – but not only that. At VfB, the captain also excelled in building up play; the ball is his friend. No wonder: At Hannover 96, he played as a striker up to the U14 level, then moved further and further back through the midfield. There, he soon played as if he had never done anything else. Also because “nothing can unsettle him,” as he says.

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Anton: Wladimir first becomes Waldemar, then “Waldi”.

His teammates appreciate his willingness to take on responsibility. At 96 he was once the youngest Bundesliga captain. “Even in kindergarten and school,” Anton told the magazine 11Freunde , “I was organizing and directing things.”

Also because he had to. His parents, with whom he came to Hanover from Uzbekistan at the age of two, didn’t speak German very well at first, so little “Wowa” helped them “translate letters from the authorities”.

He also received his “new” first name from the authorities. “My birth name is Wladimir,” Anton said. An official from the authorities recommended that the family change his name to Waldemar. “That sounds more German, they said. Otherwise the boy might get bullied.” His German friends or teammates call him Waldi.

He remained Wowa in the family. Speaking of family: “My wife and children,” he said, were initially “a little disappointed” about his nomination for the European Championships because the summer vacation would now be shorter. They too will have to be a little patient…

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