Leroy Sane said it was a "pity" that Mesut Ozil no longer plays for Germany after being asked about his former international team-mate by a fearless student on Tuesday.
Arsenal star Ozil announced he was leaving international football in July after accusing German Football Federation (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel of discrimination and "incompetence".
The outburst came after the midfielder felt he had been unfairly targeted for criticism following his meeting in May with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Germany held their media conference ahead of a friendly with Russia on Thursday at a school in Leipzig, with Sane put on the spot about Ozil's absence from the squad by a budding reporter.
"For me personally, it's a pity," he said.
"I would have liked to have played with him for a bit longer, as a footballer and as a good friend.
@LeroySane19 on his dream job: "It was always my dream to become a professional footballer actually. It's hard to say what I would have become instead...maybe a teacher " #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/1SUnZ1dJym— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 13, 2018
"Unfortunately, it is not like this anymore, but I think we have some more good players here, who I understand well and can learn a lot from."
Sane was not the only one to be asked an awkward question, with one student probing Manuel Neuer on his preference between Pep Guardiola and Germany boss Joachim Low.
Neuer, who played under Guardiola at Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2016, gracefully sidestepped the question, leaving Sane – who was signed by the Spaniard for Manchester City in 2016 – to deliver a diplomatic response.
"I think they are both very good coaches and both have already gained a lot of experience," he said.
"They both have their game philosophies and I think both have been very successful in recent years.
"I think it's really hard to say who is better."
Germany face Netherlands in the Nations League four days after their meeting with Russia.
13. Dezember 2018
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12. Dezember 2018
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|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
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|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
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|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|