Gary Lineker on the Ireland star he "used to hate playing against" 3 weeks ago

Gary Lineker on the Ireland star he "used to hate playing against"

"He was rapid."

Gary Lineker has admitted that there was on Republic of Ireland international that he just 'hated' playing against during his career.


The former England striker has the better of most of the centre backs that he came up against, and carved himself a career out of being one of the most prolific goal scorers in the game.

This makes it all the more impressive that it was ex Ireland and Man United star Paul McGrath that was name checked as one of the defenders that the Match of The Day presenter hated playing against.

Speaking on the Rest is Football podcast with Alan Shearer and Micah Richards, Lineker was reading aloud questions from listeners, and one in particular made the memory of McGrath spring into his head.


"How do you go against centre backs with speed?" asked the listener. "Did you find it difficult, I am thinking of the likes of Paul McGrath in his prime?

"Were there any that you hated playing against because of their speed?"

Straight away the mention of McGrath brought back tough memories for Lineker who almost shuddered at the idea of facing the Irish giant again.


"I used to hate playing against Paul McGrath. He was quick, and strong and aggressive. He was tough to play against.

"I much preferred it against your quintessential, big, tough, centre half, rather than a small quicker one. Paul McGrath wasn't small, but he was rapid."

It's not the first time that Lineker has name checked McGrath as one of the best defenders he has came across, and when you consider that he also played for Barcelona in the La Liga, as well as several World Cups for England, he was a player who came up against the very best of the best.

Related links: