Gary Lineker caused a stir two weeks ago with a tweet about Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The former England centre-forward, who played for several clubs including Barcelona during his illustrious career, was watching Madrid’s Champions League clash against Tottenham when he decided to reveal his thoughts about Benzema to his 6.6 million followers on Twitter.
The tweet soon went viral - and even prompted a reaction from Zinedine Zidane.
First of all, let’s remember what Lineker actually tweeted, shall we?
“Is it me or is Benzema a tad overrated?” BT Sports’ Champions League presenter wrote. “A goal every other game in a team as strong as Real Madrid is nada especial. Decent not great.”
Lineker’s comments sparked a mixed response, with some people in agreement and others telling him in no uncertain terms that he was talking rubbish.
How Zidane responded to Lineker's tweet
"It's not just Karim, he's annoying me with [what he says about] Karim because, for people who know football, it's embarrassing," Zidane was quoted as saying by Goal at the time. "He's the best number nine for Madrid, by a long way. Karim will not score 60 goals, but he will score 20 goals and assists for 30 or 40 more.
"It bothers me when people talk badly about my players. For me, Benzema is the best.
"For me, a striker doesn't only need to score goals. Karim has everything, not only the goals.
"If Karim has been at Real Madrid for almost 10 years it's not an accident. He always recovers from everything, always shows his qualities.
"On the pitch, he is the best. He has everything. Every quality for a footballer. He could improve, he knows, and he works for it. When he scores more goals, he will be happier".
Lineker's response to Zidane's comments
In response to Zidane’s comments, Lineker simply tweeted: “Just thrilled he’s heard of me.”
Benzema has now responded to Lineker's tweet
Two weeks later, however, and Benzema himself has finally responded - and he’s responded with a classy comeback.
"The criticism from ex-footballers who become journalists, some of who only share their hate, I feel sorry for them, frankly," the France international told Les Inrockuptibles, per Marca.
"They have experienced the same situations but don't have solidarity."
That’s an incredibly classy, measured response and one that will probably make Lineker feel a little guilty about his original tweet.
Well played, Karim. Very well played.
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