Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has heaped scorn on Olaf Thon, after the former Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder criticised Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Thon has claimed that Bayern star Schweini is Michael Ballack mark-two: a player on the wane who has lost form and pace, and who is desperately trying to remain relevant to Germany’s plans for the next World Cup.
"Schweinsteiger is a player who will play even more defensively in the next few years," Thon told Sky on Sunday.
"He does not have the pace anymore. In his position, you need speed and aggressiveness.
"He is very strong in the air and tries to show other virtues. He tries to show leadership qualities so he can somehow make it to the World Cup, but then it will be just like with Michael Ballack,” Thon continued.
Thon also thinks Schweinsteiger has already been passed by younger, better German players, like Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
“Other players will move up, but it might happen even earlier [than with Ballack]," he said.
"[Schweinsteiger] is no longer able to outplay opponents. Gundogan now is better at it."
But Bayern’s chief executive officer Rummenigge has dismissed Thon’s reading of Schweini’s status in the game is irrelevant and attention seeking.
"It might have been his wish to be as good as Bastian Schweinsteiger," Rummenigge told TZ..
"Maybe Olaf Thon is frustrated - he does not play a major role in football these days.
“That's when you tend to say things like that on TV. We are very satisfied with Bastian.
"Looking at the caps for Thon and Schweinsteiger, quality and quantity speak for Bastian. End of discussion."
Is Schweini still one of the world’s best, or is he a player on the wane?