Zinedine Zidane v Gary Lineker
When it comes to barbs between high profile former players, it does not get much better than Zinedine Zidane and Gary Lineker.
Zidane is undoubtedly one of the finest players to ever play the Beautiful Game, enjoying huge amounts of success with Juventus, Real Madrid and France.
Whilst Gary Lineker was a striker who lived for scoring goals. And, did just that for Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham and England.
Gary Lineker takes aim at Karim Benzema
Now a presenter for the BBC and BT Sport, Lineker remains one of the most loved former players in England.
Lineker is very active on Twitter where he is closing in on seven million followers.
During the Real Madrid v Tottenham match in the Champions League this past Tuesday, Lineker Tweeted about Karim Benzema:
In fairness to Lineker, Benzema missed two guilt-edged chances against Spurs.
The first was after Cristiano Ronaldo had hit the post in the first half. The second came when Hugo Lloris pulled off a wonder save from his former Lyon team mate.
Zinedine Zidane defends Karim Benzema
In the build-up to Real Madrid’s match with Eibar this evening, Zinedine Zidane was asked about Gary Lineker’s criticism.
Zidane: “For people who know about football to say that, is a disgrace; for me he is the best there is. I don’t know if people think the No 9 has to score 50 goals. Karim is not going to score 60 goals, but he will score 25, and he will give 30 passes to goal. Such comments annoy me but they cannot be avoided. For me he is the best by some distance.”
The Real Madrid coach continued: “Everyone can give an opinion and some people might believe a No 9 has to score more goals but it’s not just about that. Karim has everything. He scores goals. He doesn’t score 50 but he does get 25 or 30 a year, that’s what he’ll score this season. I’m more interested with how he combines with other players. What pleases me is good football. People can give their opinion that a No 9 should be about goals, okay, but that’s not my philosophy.”
Real Madrid play their second Champions League game against Tottenham on November 1, 2017, it looks increasingly likely that Karim Benzema will remain a key talking point.