The BT Sport host was caught on camera celebrating after the Barcelona star’s spectacular goal in the Champions League semi-final.
Gary Lineker has responded to criticism of his frenzied celebrations of Lionel Messi‘s stunning free-kick goal against Liverpool, saying he was simply “celebrating greatness”.
Footage posted on Twitter showed the BT Sport host screaming “wow” and hugging pundit Rio Ferdinand after the Barcelona captain fired in the third goal of the Champions League semi-final tie.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 1, 2019
After receiving criticism from some English fans on social media, Lineker – a former Barcelona player – tweeted: “Seem to have upset a few @LFC fans by celebrating greatness last night.
“Admittedly it was a bit cringe, but as a former player who loves @FCBarcelona I make no apologies for dancing to the diminutive Dios.”
Messi’s goal was the 600th of his career, matching Cristiano Ronaldo who hit the same number earlier this week during Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Inter Milan.
The Argentine’s goal made Liverpool the sixth English opponent he has scored against in the Champions League.
UCL Team of the Week – Messi, Suarez, De Jong