Joshua Kimmich has slammed Joachim Low’s decision to retire Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller from international duty, saying none of them were "too old" to play for the Germany national team.
Low made the controversial decision on Tuesday to axe the Bayern Munich trio from his selection plans going forward in hopes of renewing the Germany squad ahead of Euro 2020.
He is hoping to put behind a difficult 2018, which saw Germany crash out of the World Cup in the group stage and follow that up by being relegated from UEFA Nations League Group A.
In doing so, Low removed from selection three key players from the 2014 World Cup winning squad, as all three started the final against Argentina.
The decision was met with frustration and disappointment by all three players, both over the message and method of the announcement.
And Kimmich also has now voiced his discontent over his Bayern team-mates being axed from selection, admitting surprise over the decision and criticising how it happened.
“I first heard about it from the press, one day later the three boys told me,” Kimmich told reporters. “Yes, I was [surprised].
“I know the national team only with these three players. Over the past 10 years, they have shaped the team and made us world champions. They are also my team-mates.
“From a player's point of view, the way was not okay, so I understand that the guys are disappointed.”
While Low made the decision with an eye to getting younger, Kimmich argued the trio are still young enough to contribute going forward.
“Especially when you consider that they are only 29 and 30 years old,” Kimmich said. “Thomas has made 100 games for Germany, for example. Then you have earned another departure.
“Football is often talked about old and young - I think that none of the boys are too old to play in the national team.”
Though Borussia Dortmund also won, the big victory saw the reigning champions move ahead through goal difference.
All three players started the Bayern victory, with Hummels and Boateng going 90 minutes in central defence for the clean sheet, while Muller scored the fourth goal in the rout.
And when asked if he thought the trio stepped up to prove a point to Low, Kimmich admitted he believed it did serve as a motivating factor.
“You do not shake things off that easily,” Kimmich said. “I am a national player myself and I know how special it is to play for Germany.
“I do not think you can get that out of your head after two days, but today they showed what they got. They have played a very good game.”