Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has admitted that he was wrong to call Mesut Ozil “sh*t”, saying he should have instead labelled the playmaker "crap".
Speaking in August, Hoeness had said that Ozil was using accusations of racism as a distraction from his poor form with Germany, having previously gone on a spectacular rant about the player.
Indeed, the Arsenal playmaker was the subject to widespread criticism as Joachim Low’s side crashed out of World Cup 2018 at the group stage, having lost matches against Mexico and South Korea.
Hoeness was one of many to take aim at the 29-year-old, though he regrets his decision now.
"I should not have said sh*t, but crap,” he admitted. "My opinion of Mesut is clear: I wanted to make a point of diverting the conversation back towards sport. I wanted to divert it away from racism and integration."
Ozil has since quit the international game amid accusations of institutional racism, though Germany’s fortunes have not picked up any. Indeed, Low’s side face the prospect of being relegated from the top tier of Nations League sides after suffering successive defeats against Netherlands and France over the course of the previous week.
“He last won a tackle before the 2014 World Cup. And now he and his sh*tty performance hide behind this picture.
“Whenever [Bayern] played against Arsenal, we played over him because we knew that was their weak point.
“His 35 million followers - that don't exist in the real world - are convinced he has played sublimely when he completes a pass.
“The development in our country is a catastrophe. You have to go back to what it is: sport. And from a sporting point of view, Ozil has no place in the national team for years.”
Prior to the competition, he had been photographed with controversial Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan along with Ilkay Gundogan, sparking a backlash in his homeland.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel urged him to explain the incident, but Ozil replied to the repeated attacks by claiming he had been made a scapegoat for the country's failure and been the target of racial abuse.
Hoeness also admitted that he had gone too far with his criticism of Karim Bellarabi last month when he called on the Bayer Leverkusen player to be given a lengthy ban for kicking Rafinha.
The Germany international received a four-game suspension, but it was not enough for what Hoeness saw as an "insane violation" and an example of "stupidity".
After reflecting on it, though, he conceded he let his emotions get the better of him.
"Sometimes you are emotionally upset after the game," he said. "I should not have said he was insane."