Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff has hit out at Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal over his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Van Gaal recently admitted that Schweinsteiger has yet to find his best form since joining United from Bayern Munich ahead of the 2015-16 season.
Although the United boss also added he is confident Schweinsteiger will soon be on top of his game, Bierhoff was not impressed with the Dutchman’s comments and believes Van Gaal should be more supportive of the experienced midfielder.
“Every player needs his coach to have his back, including Bastian,” Bierhoff told Sport Bild.
“In general, I find it very unfortunate when coaches publicly criticise their players like this.”
Bierhoff is confident Schweinsteiger – who is currently recovering from a knee injury – will soon be proving his worth for United again and has little doubt the 31-year-old will be vital for Germany at Euro 2016.
“I think Bastian’s motivation will return knowing that he can go to Euro 2016 as Germany captain. The important thing is that Bastian fully embraces the thought of captaining us at the Euros at some point,” he added.
“There is a lot of competition for places in Bastian’s position. We all saw that at the World Cup. But I would expect Bastian to be part of our squad for the Euros. He is a very important part of our team.
“We experienced a similar situation with Sami Khedira ahead of the World Cup. In the end, it all depends on Bastian’s situation.”
Germany coach Joachim Low, meanwhile, sees no reason for concern just yet.
“I am in constant contact with Bastian. His current injury does not worry me,” Low stated.
“It is a good thing when players take the time to fully recover from an injury. There is always a risk an injury recurs if a player returns too soon.
“I know Bastian is focused on the Euros and I am confident he will give his all to be well prepared. We are counting on him.”