Thursday, November 26, 2020

Gary Lineker's brilliant, heartfelt tribute to Diego Maradona

I know he's the scourge of a certain section of the male population due to his stance on Brexit (and not being a dick) but this was a reminder of what a good broadcaster Gary Lineker is. I'm pleased he's not just a pundit, but he gets the respect of the other players because of all he achieved in the game. It's brought back home too what a player he was. My generation's greatest international tournaments were Mexico 86 and Italia 90. England's performances were totally enhanced by Lineker's input. He was a deadly striker and a superb ambassador for the game at the time. I adored him.

I haven't always though. In the days when my team was frequently last on Match of the Day, as opposed to next to last on the Football League Show on Channel 5, I thought they were phoning it in. I don't see as much of him now for obvious reasons, but I think he's got much better as a broadcaster, as you'd expect, and as the media age has changed. He bounces off Ian Wright Jermain Jenas and Alan Shearer far better than he ever did with the far too cosy Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen. I'm not a Danny Murphy fan.

I wanted to mark the passing of a legend this week. But plenty of others can have their say far better than I could on Diego Maradona, over the last few days. He was an absolute icon and one of the greatest players in my lifetime, I still think Cruyff was the greatest ever, but it's churlish to mention that. Sometimes it's hard to find the appropriate words too, but I'm glad that Gary Lineker did.

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