Joachim Low believes his quote comparing Mario Gotze to Lionel Messi hindered the Germany international's progress following the 2014 World Cup.
The attacking midfielder scored the winning goal over Argentina in the final to help Die Mannschaft lift the trophy, with Low telling Gotze to "show the world you can be better than Messi" when sending him on as a late substitute.
Then 22, Gotze became the youngest player to score in a World Cup final for almost 50 years, and also was the first ever substitute to score the winner.
Despite being shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or in 2014, Gotze's performances at club level declined, with numerous Bayern Munich luminaries criticising his impact at the club. A second successive poor campaign saw him leave Munich to return to Borussia Dortmund, where he missed most of the 2016-17 season due to illness.
Low feels that his post-World Cup comments may have harmed Gotze's development, putting too much pressure on the young attacker following their World Cup success.
"I commited the mistake to talk about that sentence publicly afterwards," Low said at the Bild100sport event in Berlin.
"That did not help Mario during the next few months. He was always measured to it and scoring the decisive goal might have become a burden for him."
After recovering from his metabolic illness, Gotze started to regain some of his form with Dortmund in 2017-18, but has yet to return to the level he was at before the 2014 World Cup when he secured a €37 million move from BVB to Bayern.
The level he has been playing at was not enough for him to make Low's 27-man preliminary squad for the World Cup, with the Germany head coach explaining that he wants to see Gotze play even better before bringing him back into the national fold.
"This season it was simply not that Mario Gotze who we all wish to see."