Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will return to the starting line-up against Sao Paolo in a pre-season tournament at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Schweinsteiger, 29 on Thursday, missed most of pre-season through injury and had seen his role under new boss Pep Guardiola questioned in some quarters.
On Tuesday, sporting director Matthias Sammer condemned Schweinseiger's critics, telling Sport Bild: "There is absolutely no discussion about Bastian. To me, Bastian is the best midfielder in the world. Whoever casts even partial doubt on him is being disrespectful."
Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference reported on Bayern's official website, Guardiola said: "Basti is an unbelievable player," but added that he needed more time to regain full fitness and that the friendly would be a good chance for him to "take the next step forward".
Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger will remain Germany Footballer of the Year, with kicker magazine dismissing reports that its vote could be re-run.
On Monday, German news magazine Focus claimed there had been irregularities when kicker mailed out the voting papers.
But kicker, while admitting that there had been difficulties, insisted all journalists had been able to vote.