Gary Lineker makes apology to Cesc Fabregas for awkward moment during Spain v Russia

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The World Cup continues to somehow get even better as we enter the final fortnight of the tournament in Russia.

Holders Germany finished bottom of their group, Argentina scraped through before being knocked out in a thrilling 4-3 defeat to France yesterday, and there has been just one 0-0 draw.

There has been penalties galore, and more own goals than at any other World Cup, so it has by far exceeded any expectations.

Spain's last-16 tie with Russia featured both of those, and while the entertainment on the pitch struggled to live up to its predecessors, the hosts' victory on penalties made up for it.

It is undoubtedly one of the biggest shocks in recent years, with the Spanish team littered with players who know nothing but success.

They haven't performed quite as we know they can though, and their exit has blown England's side of the draw even further open.

Losing on penalties is quite frankly the worst thing in football, and it can't have been easy for Chelsea man Cesc Fabregas to provide his analysis of the game on live television following the result.

Fabregas was signed as a pundit up by the BBC after his exclusion from Spain's World Cup squad, which it's now fair to say never recovered from Julen Lopetegui's sacking on the eve of the tournament.

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And Gary Lineker, in his usual role as presenter, felt he had to make an apology to the midfielder during the live broadcast.

As is common practice now, the television studios are filmed during games to capture the reaction of pundits - given the outcome of the result, you can imagine that didn't go too well for Fabregas.

As you can see in the clip below, the Spaniard is clearly devastated by his country's defeat, while Lineker's apology is also audible.

The clip was replayed to the panel afterwards, which obviously wasn't very pleasant for Fabregas, and Lineker says: "I'm so sorry Cesc, that wasn't my idea."

It makes for great television, but you do have to feel for the 31-year-old.


Fortunately for him, his fellow pundits Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand are more than accustomed to penalty shoot-out defeats, so they will have been able to console him adequately.

The major thing to come out of Spain's defeat however, is that if England can see off Colombia on Tuesday, they will avoid any of the supposed 'big boys' until the final.

Whisper it quietly, but it really could be coming home.

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