Piers Morgan took issue with the ‘fan-girling’ of Lionel Messi in the BBC studio and Gary Lineker was happy to see the TalkTV host express an opinion ‘from deep inside the bowels of Cristiano Ronaldo’.
Messi scored his 789th career goal in his 1000th professional appearance as Argentina overcame Australia 2-1 on Sunday to set up a quarter-final clash with the Netherlands, who beat the USA earlier in the day.
And Messi was praised to the hilt by Lineker, Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Pablo Zabaleta on punditry duty, which Ronaldo-loving Morgan predictably took issue with, insisting the acclaim was ‘excruciatingly obsequious’.
He tweeted: ‘The relentless Messi fan-girling by the whole BBC punditry team is getting excruciatingly obsequious. Getting worried one of them might have an “accident” in the studio.
‘Calm yourselves, lads. He had a good game against an average side. See how he does against a good team.’
Ferdinand claimed Messi’s finish was ‘special’ while the other pundits’ admiration was clear.
Lineker, who has made no secret of his love for Messi in the past, responded to Morgan’s tweet, posting: ‘Good to see you emerge briefly from deep inside the bowels of Ronaldo to express your opinion.’
Messi has now joined the top scorers at the World Cup on three goals, with Argentina among the favourites to go all the way having won their last three games after the shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening group game.
READ MORE: Argentina finally see off Australia in a World Cup game of very fine margins
And after the game, the Argentina captain hailed the impact of his nation’s fans, claiming the bond between the players and the Argentinian public is “so special” and plays a huge role in their success.
Messi said: “These are amazing feelings, I’m so happy to share these beautiful moments.
“We enjoy every match, the fans share it with us in the stadium and back home in Argentina we know everyone is with us.
“This bond, this union, it is so special. It’s unbelievable.
“These matches are always difficult, it’s just important that you win.”