Nobody has enjoyed Leicester City’s remarkable rise more than Gary Lineker has but one thinks he’s starting to take things a little too far.
The BT Sport presenter made a bold comparison after Atletico Madrid beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
Several times this season we’ve seen Leicester score on the counter-attack and then defend deep. Though Madrid’s goal didn’t come against the run of play, they defended for their lives in the second half and grounded out a narrow win.
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Lineker has obviously watched most if not all of Leicester’s games this season and so while watching Atletico, he was instantly reminded of the Foxes.
Cue the comparison: “They’re like the Spanish Leicester, aren’t they?” Lineker asked Rio Ferdinand, Owen Hargreaves and Ian Wright.
Then came the hysterical reaction on Twitter.
Yeah, because a team that last year escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth is England’s equivalent to 2014’s Champions League runners-up.
But we’ll forgive Lineker. He’s probably still trying to comprehend Leicester’s unbelievable season.
On the brink
The Foxes need just three points to win the Premier League title, with three games remaining. They were given odds of 5,000/1 to win the title back in August, yet could be playing Atletico and Bayern in next season’s Champions League.
In December, Lineker promised to present Match of the Day in his underwear if the Foxes achieved the impossible. There are rumours that he’s planning to go back on his work - who’d blame him - but nonetheless, the fact that he made the comment proves just how unlikely Leicester’s story is.
In a passionate article in The Guardian last month, the former England international revealed just how much it would mean to him to see his old team go all the way.
Lineker wrote: “I don’t think I have ever wanted something to happen more in sport in my entire life. It is utterly joyous observing the delight that my three Leicester-supporting boys are feeling. Even my eldest, George, a lifelong Manchester United fan (he has always been contrary), is enthused by the Foxes’ charge.
“As for my dad, well he recently tweeted: ‘I’ve waited over 70 years for this. F****** brill.’ I get a real sense too that football fans the world over feel the same way. The pressure will mount with every passing week. With expectation comes danger.
“They have, though, shown no fear thus far. No sign of wavering under the magnitude of what they might achieve. They are on the edge of sporting immortality.”