Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer aimed a dig at Gianni Infantino during the World Cup presentation ceremony as the BBC pundits spoke out on the “shame” of Lionel Messi’s “little robe”.
Messi scored twice and converted his penalty in the dramatic shootout win over France on Sunday and was rightly heralded for his incredible display in the final and throughout the tournament.
As he was on his way up to collect the World Cup trophy he was dressed in a black robe by the Emir of Qatar, and Lineker wasn’t happy.
He said: “Amazing scenes, great pictures from above and great pictures from inside the ground as Argentina win the World Cup for the third time.
“It seems a shame, in a way, that they’ve covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt.”
Pablo Zabaleta, who was close to tears of joy after the game having seen his country led to the title by his former teammate, replied: “Just, why? Why? No reason to do that.”
Infantino took hold of Messi’s arm as he was dressed in the robe and walked him towards his teammates before the trophy lift.
Alan Shearer joked: “I didn’t think Infantino was going to let him go either,” before Lineker added: “Nobody marked him that tightly during the game!”
But Messi took the robe off soon after before someone added a third star to his Argentina shirt to mark their third World Cup triumph.
“Three stars on Messi’s shirt I think I spot,” Lineker said. “And he’s taken the little robe off.”
Gary Neville raved about Lionel Messi over on ITV, where he had earlier made the broadcast bosses uncomfortable as he compared the UK to Qatar.
“He should be centre of attention,” Neville said. “It feels right that Messi has won the World Cup.
“Destiny was there, he’s contributed enormous amounts throughout this tournament and his career. He’s lit up every single game he’s played in, if you’re watching Messi live you are truly blessed.
“Argentina, their passion, fight, spirit, nastiness till the end was absolutely amazing. That’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen in my life.”