Gary Lineker defends wild celebrations after Messi free-kick against Liverpool

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.

See more

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.”

See more
See more

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.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1