Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos says former Germany team-mate Mesut Ozil was talking “nonsense” in his retirement announcement last month.
Arsenal midfielder Ozil, 29, quit international football after Germany exited the World Cup in the group stages, citing “racism and disrespect”.
“Mesut is a deserved international and as a player he deserved a better departure,” Kroos told newspaper Bild.
“But the way he resigned was not in order,” he added.
Ozil faced criticism after being photographed alongside Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan in May and was one of the players blamed for Germany’s disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia.
Ozil also accused the German Football Association (DFB) of failing to support him during the row.
Ozil won 92 caps for Germany and was part of the 2014 World Cup winning team. He was voted the national team’s player of the year five times by fans.