Germany's Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller
Germany's Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas MuellerReuters

Former Germany skipper Michael Ballack has criticised the performances of attacking trio Mario Gotze, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos during the World Cup.

Germany were given a scare by minows Algeria before going through to a quarter-final against France as the African side pushed Joachim Low's side to the limit.

And in an interview with Munich newspaper TZ, the former Chelsea star Ballack believes the offensive trio are not performing to the level it should be, as saying: "Now no one can hide.

"I refer to all the players who have not played the limit - I mean Kroos, Ozil and Gotze."

Ballack added: "It is not enough to provide a nice football. I also ask them to decide a game by themselves, providing the final pass or scoring the winning goal.

"They have to show the potential that they have and prove that they are winners."

However, Ballack was in no doubt that Ozil should be in the starting line-up due to quality with the ball at his feet, saying: "Despite the criticism, he can make a difference. But if he acts parsimoniously, it will not help the team at all - he knows that."

Last month, the former Chelsea star said that Ozil should have stayed at Real Madrid and fought for his place for longer instead of going to Arsenal, as saying: "I would have liked to see Ozil more time fighting in Madrid.

"It was a shame, because I am sure that Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema would have loved him to continue, because Ozil is a very generous player. He started very well, but then it has been hard to adapt, because English football is very complicated.