Christian Ziege said it pained him to see Mesut Ozil not living up to his full potential.
Ozil, who started in Germany's opening 2018 FIFA World Cup match against Mexico on Sunday, was largely ineffective as the defending champions crashed to a shock 1-0 loss.
The Arsenal star was also involved in Mexico's goal as he failed to close down on Virving Lozano to score.
After the match, he was subject to criticism from fans and experts alike, something Ziege already saw too often.
"There have always been big discussions about him every game and big tournament. I remember we were also talking about him in 2014 when he was not playing that well," said the 72-cap former Germany international, who was in Malaysia as Astro SuperSport's World Cup pundit.
"People were saying about the way he played, moved and reacted to certain circumstances.
"There was another big discussion in Germany last week and everyone was saying how we have someone so talented but you just don't see [him using his talent].
"Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't. Like in the Premier League, he could be playing well for Arsenal in one game and then you don't see him play well for the next three weeks.
"His body language and all are just not going his way.
"It hurts me to see a player of his quality not really being up for games and wanting the ball to do something with it."
Seng Foo Lee
Mon Jun 18 2018
Italy will be even better at 2022 World Cup – Zola
Inspired by the success of 2021, Gianfranco Zola believes Italy will go from strength to strength ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Tottenham fans would not complain if Harry Kane leaves, says Waddle
After suffering heartbreak with England in the Euro 2020 final, Harry Kane is now seeing his club future come back up for debate.
Italy and Argentina on course for Qatar contention but concerns for France and Portugal?
The European Championship and Copa America gave some indication of which teams might be a serious threat at the 2022 World Cup.
Kane targets World Cup with England as Tottenham future remains unclear
Harry Kane made clear reaching the Euro 2020 final is "not the end" for England as the focus now switches to his club situation.
Southgate says player abuse is 'unforgivable' as England boss prepares to take a break
Gareth Southgate feels England's squad helped bring a nation together despite some of his players being targets for racist abuse.
Deschamps to continue with France - 'The matter was settled in three minutes'
Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, has revealed there was no debate over Didier Deschamps' future.
Wenger backs plans for World Cup to be held every two years
Despite fears of player burnout from clubs, FIFA chief Arsene Wenger has called for the World Cup to be staged biennially from 2026.
Ronaldo sets new record for Euros and World Cup goals combined
With his first-half goal against France, Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to reach 20 goals at the World Cup and European Championship.
Ange Postecoglou: Who is Celtic's new manager?
Those close to Ange Postecoglou provide an insight into the new Celtic boss, while Stats Perform looks at his numbers, using Opta data.
Vietnam put Malaysia out of running for 2022 FIFA World Cup spot
Malaysia officially failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being handed a 2-1 loss by Vietnam in the FIFA World Cup/AFC Asian Cup qualifying on Friday.
United States into Gold Cup semis after late winner against Jamaica
Matthew Hoppe's first international goal gave the United States a Gold Cup victory over Jamaica.
Tokyo Olympics: Ledecky beaten by Titmus in thriller as perfect Peaty makes history
On a brilliant session at the Aquatics Centre, Adam Peaty won gold again, while Ariarne Titmus fended off Katie Ledecky in a dream race.
He's the Champ! Cameron takes 3M Open title with bogey-free final round
Cameron Champ battled dehydration and a shaky final hole to hang on for a two-stroke victory at the 3M Open.
Kumar inspires India to T20I victory over Sri Lanka
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar took four wickets as India eased to a 38-run win over Sri Lanka in the first T20 international on Sunday.
Collins secures maiden WTA singles title with victory over Ruse in Palermo
World number 44 Danielle Collins did not drop a set all week as she cruised past Elena-Gabriela Ruse to win the Palermo Open.
Alcaraz seals stunning Croatia Open triumph, becomes youngest ATP title winner since Nishikori
Eighteen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest ATP Tour champion since 2008 with victory over Richard Gasquet in Umag, Croatia.
Lukaku 'absolutely not for sale' insists Inter CEO Marotta
Inter CEO Beppe Marotta insists Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku remains an important player for the Serie A club and is not for sale.
Spanish star Elvira wins first European Tour title at Gareth Bale-backed event
Nacho Elvira won his first European Tour title at the 195th time of asking in a tournament supported by Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
Fernando is coming home! Torres takes up coaching position with Atletico Madrid youth team
Fernando Torres played 404 times for Atletico Madrid in his playing career and is now back at the club in a coaching position.
Tokyo Olympics: What to look out for on Monday
Katie Ledecky and Naomi Osaka are among those in action on the third day of the Tokyo Olympics, while women's skateboarding debuts.