World Cup 2018: Gary Lineker calls Diego Maradona a ‘laughing stock’ after middle finger celebration

The Argentine legend raised two middle fingers on camera after Marcos Rojo's late goal

Jack Watson@jackwatsonsport
Wednesday 27 June 2018 08:02
World Cup: Maradona swears after Argentina scores

Gary Lineker has called Diego Maradona a "laughing stock" after the Argentina legend was shown on television raising two middle fingers as he celebrated Marcos Rojo's winning goal that sealed qualification against Nigeria.

This is not the first time that Maradona has caused controversy at this World Cup 2018. He was accused of making 'clearly racist gestures' at young South Korean fans when Argentina played Iceland.

With the score 1-1, Argentina were crashing out after Victor Moses cancelled out Lionel Messi's early goal, but Rojo scored late to seal the two-time World Cup winners' progress to the round of 16.

After Rojo scored, the host broadcasters showed footage of Maradona leaning over his balcony at the St Petersburg Stadium raising two middle fingers.

Diego Maradona has been causing controversy at the World Cup

"There's Diego Maradona celebrating," said Lineker. "I think he might make the papers for a different kind of celebration, there's a danger he's becoming a laughing stock I'm afraid."

"[He's] let himself down with that celebration," added the BBC presenter. "You understand how he's euphoric, but this kind of reaction... Really, Diego?"

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was also less impressed with Maradona's antics. "His career as a football player on the pitch was up there with the best," said Ferdinand.

"Unfortunately there are moments like this that do arise it's not nice to see that let him down."

Argentina face France in the round of 16 on Saturday after securing last-ditch qualification from Group D.

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