Franz Beckenbauer has called for Joachim Low to swallow his pride and recall Schalke's Kevin Kuranyi.
The Brazil-born striker has been ostracised by the Germany coach since storming away from the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund before the final whistle, after being omitted from the match-day squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier against Russia in October 2008.
However, his form for the title-challenging Royal Blues this season - he is currently the Bundesliga's leading scorer on 17 goals - has prompted a campaign from fans for his recall. Low is reportedly mulling over the situation, but Beckenbauer is adamant Kuranyi should be given the chance to prove he is worthy of a place in the party for South Africa 2010.
Beckenbauer wrote in his column for the Bild newspaper: "Should the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga go to South Africa? In my opinion, yes.
"Joachim Low was right to respond how he did after Kuranyi's disappearance during the Russia game. This violation had to be punished severely. But that was in October 2008, 18 months ago.
Should the top goalscorer in the Bundesliga go to South Africa? In my opinion, yes.
"Joachim Low should not have banned the player from the national team so quickly. The 'life' punishment always seemed excessive. And now it is a problem for the national team."
And with Germany's other striking options struggling for goals and fitness - Stefan Kiessling and Mario Gomez need to get match-fit after injuries - Beckenbauer believes Low would be wrong to ignore the man in form.
"Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski are a long way from World Cup form," he added. "In this situation, to ignore the top scorer is wrong in my eyes."