Lothar Matthaus fears Jerome Boateng may not get back in the Germany squad while Joachim Low remains in charge.
The German national team coach has left the Bayern Munich centre-back out of his squad for the friendly with Russia on November 15 and the Nations League clash with Holland four days later.
He believes the defender, 30, needs a break from international football after suffering issues with form and fitness.
Bayern legend Matthaus - Germany's most capped player - thinks it could spell the end of his time with the national team, at least while Low is manager.
"It could well be that this is a very long break for Jerome Boateng in the German national team, as long as Low is in charge there," he said in his column for Sky Germany.
"I think that's because of several factors. First, of course, the sporting achievements of the last few months.
"I can well imagine that the national coach did not like that, that Jerome left injured after the 3-0 defeat in Holland last month, and then completed a full training session at FC Bayern on the day of the France match a few days later."
Low explained his decision to omit the defender, who is still being linked with a move to Manchester United, by saying: “I have spoken to him and I’m convinced he could do with a good break.
“I told him I have several options for his position with many good young players coming through.
“I don’t want to just dump the 2014 generation but it is now time for further changes. The team needs pepping up and it’s my job to do that."
Boateng tweeted his response, saying: “After a private conversation we agreed it would be best if I took a break after what has been an exhausting year, which will allow me to focus on Munich.”