Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has criticised Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the German football association (DFB) and sections of the media over their treatment of Manuel Neuer.
Ter Stegen discussed his lack of playing time with Die Mannschaft during and after the most recent international break, starting a debate on whether he should replace Neuer as Germany's No. 1. Speaking to Sport1 (h/t Goal's Sam France), Hoeness was not impressed:
"That's a joke. I think it is not okay how the Munich press deals with that topic. The press in western Germany supports Marc-Andre extremely. As if he had already won 17 world championships. And I do not see support from the southern German press for Manuel. It is not okay to bring such a topic to the public.
"He [Ter Stegen] has no claim to play. For the keepers it is different than for the other players, because you can't constantly switch. The hierarchy has to be clear and say: Manuel Neuer is the No. 1. He has been the best goalkeeper in the world for many years.
"He was injured for a while, but it was clear that only he can be the No. 1 when he returns to his old form. And he has now.
"I would have expected more support from the DFB. We always have trouble with the DFB. First the removal of our three players and now the same with Manuel Neuer.
"It's not okay to allow a team-mate to go public on a topic he's only supposed to discuss with [coach] Jogi Low."
Here is video of the interview:
The removal of players referred to the decision to drop Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller from the national team after the disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup. Germany failed to make it out of the group stages.
Ter Stegen and Neuer have been going back and forth in the press since the debate over who should be Germany's No. 1 kicked off after the international break:
The Barcelona man has backed up Neuer at every major international tournament since 2016, with the exception of the 2017 Confederations Cup. The 27-year-old has developed into one of the world's best stoppers in that span but continues to be overlooked in favour of the veteran.
Neuer was long considered among the world's best, but the 33-year-old suffered a serious foot injury during the 2017-18 campaign and has regressed since.
StatsBomb looked into his statistical production earlier this year:
He was in goal for Germany in the 4-2 loss against the Netherlands during the international break, and despite his poor outing, retained his spot for the 2-0 win over Northern Ireland.
Both impressed in midweek, with the spotlight turned on them on the opening matchday of the UEFA Champions League.
Ter Stegen returned to Germany and kept a clean sheet against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, putting in a phenomenal performance in the 0-0 draw. On Wednesday, Neuer kept a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade.