Former and current team-mates of Arjen Robben have come to the defence of the Bayern Munich winger after he was branded an "egoist" by German legend Franz Beckenbauer.
Robben, 28, has been dropped to the bench for Bayern's recent Bundesliga matches after suffering a loss of form with Munich second in the German league behind defending champions Borussia Dortmund.
He came off the bench and impressed late in Bayern's 2-0 win over Kaiserslautern last Saturday, but Beckenbauer went on the attack when he dubbed the Dutchman a selfish egoist on German Sky last Sunday.
"He is an egoist. Just like many others, he needs to think more about what he can do for the team," fumed former Bayern president Beckenbauer.
But Tottenham Hotspur star Rafael van der Vaart, who played alongside Robben in the Netherlands' team which reached the 2010 World Cup final, backed his Oranje team-mate to prove himself on the pitch.
"In his first few years at Bayern, Arjen played exactly the same way he is now, he just scored a few more goals," Van der Vaart told German daily Bild.
"Now the ball isn't flying into the net so often and Robben is seen in a negative light.
"They should let him play as he always has done, or they will be robbed of his class."
And Schalke's ex-Germany defender Christoph Metzelder, who played with Robben at Real Madrid, also defended the Dutchman, who has still managed to score five goals in 12 league appearance this season for Bayern.
"Of course he's a special player who is looking for a lot of one-on-one situations and has a little extra class," said the 31-year-old.
" I got to know him as a very affable man, but of course, he is very ambitious - but this is not a negative character trait."