Gary Lineker forced to apologise after controversial BBC comment about Man Utd star

Host of Match of the Day Gary Lineker got into a lot of trouble with Manchester United supporters after joking about Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman was not amused by Lineker’s joke, despite scoring an incredible 150 goals in just 219 games during his five-year stay at Old Trafford.

The tale was revealed when Lineker and Alan Shearer were talking about catchy nicknames for former teammates and players on the podcast The Rest is Football. He remembered the backlash he faced after making a physical appearance criticism on Van Nistelrooy.

Lineker said: “Talking about long-faced ones, the one time I got into a bit of controversy [about] something I said on telly. Do you remember Ruud van Nistelrooy had a long [face], you know those post-match interviews that we show just before we come onto analysis, he came on and in this particular shot, it looked like [he had] the head of a horse.”

The presenter then revealed the backlash he faced from United supporters following his comment about the former striker. “They just won a game and he didn’t seem very happy so I just said ‘come on Ruud, why the long face’, and I got so much stick from Man United fans, I apologised,” he confessed.

Following his retirement in 2012, Van Nistelrooy pursued a career in coaching. He achieved success at PSV Eindhoven, winning the KNVB Cup before leaving the team in 2023 allegedly for lack of support, according to the Mirror.

The Dutch legend has since expressed his eagerness to take on a managerial role in Spain or return to the hustle of the Premier League. “I would really like to work in Spain, and I have had conversations with Spanish clubs,” Van Nistelrooy revealed to Diario AS.

“But also the other leagues in which I have played, I want to coach there too. In the Premier League, and the Bundesliga.”

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