Former Bayern Munich star Mehmet Scholl feels Philipp Lahm is on par with all-time German greats such as Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller.
Lahm announced on Tuesday that he will retire from professional football at the end of the 2016-17 campaign, stressing that he wants to quit while he can still play at the highest level.
The right-back made over 500 appearances in all competitions for Bayern throughout his career, winning numerous trophies in the process, and Scholl has nothing but praise for the 33-year-old.
"It is very sad news for me as a football fan," Scholl told ARD.
"Philipp has been an amazing player for 70 per cent of his career and he was world class for the remaining 30 per cent.
"He is right up there with Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller and Lothar Matthaus. He is an all-time German great.
"I can understand his decision from a human point of view. He also made the right decision to retire from international after the 2014 World Cup. He knows his body better than anyone."
Matthaus, meanwhile, feels Lahm still had a few years in him, before voicing his surprise at the ex-Germany captain's decision to reject a job as sporting director with Bayern.
"Philipp made a smart decision to retire from international football after Germany won the World Cup in 2014," Matthaus stated.
"He did very well because he saw that it was no longer possible to combine the two. That decision allowed him to focus on Bayern. So one has to accept his decision now as well.
"Personally, I still believed in him as a right-back even against the fastest opponents. I think he still had a few years in him.
"To leave the game altogether comes as quite a surprise. I find it hard to understand his decision to turn down the offer to become sporting director.
"A chance like that might come only once in a lifetime. There is no guarantee the situation will not be completely different in 2019. He might no longer be the top candidate then."