Oliver Bierhoff has put Mesut Özil's international future into doubt after questioning the Arsenal playe'rs commitment to the German cause.
Bierhoff, speaking upon the German team's arrival in Frankfurt having been knocked out of the World Cup group stages for the first time in their history, believes that the problems all began when Özil and Germany teammate İlkay Gündoğan were photographed before the World Cup with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
As reported by RevierSport, he said: "We have never forced players in the German national team to do anything, but always tried to convince them for a cause.
"That did not work for us with Mesut. In that sense, one would have had to think about whether to give it up athletically."
The photo with Özil and Gündoğan - who are both of Turkish decent - caused a stir in Germany because Gündoğan referred to President Erdoğan as 'my president', despite both players being German-born.
This caused political controversy in Germany and both players were jeered by fans in the warm-up games for the World Cup.
Gündoğan was subject to less abuse than Özil due to his extremely open nature about the encounter and emphasised that he and Özil did not want to make any political statements with the pictures.
Bierhoff, team manager of the national team, said: "One would have had to consider whether to abstain from Mesut Özil."
Going forward, Bierhoff promised that Die Mannschaft will make the necessary changes to ensure that failure of this kind will not happen again.
He said: "People always look very closely at the national team, and that's a good thing, because it also shows the bond and identification.
"I know we've lost credit. We'll face up to change. We will do everything we can to ensure that the team presents itself properly and wows with good football."