Andorra legend claps back at Gary Lineker for comments on smaller footballing nations 2 weeks ago

Andorra legend claps back at Gary Lineker for comments on smaller footballing nations

"Gary Lineker is lucky that he was born in England and not Andorra."

Andorra legend Ildefons Lima has clapped back at Gary Lineker in response to his controversial take that smaller nations should have to "play amongst themselves" for the right to play qualifiers against bigger nations.

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Lineker actually tweeted this idea back in March, during the last international break before the Euros, and unsurprisingly received a lot of backlash and accusations of condescension.

He doubled down on his opinion, implying his idea came from a place of sympathy for the nations who spend every qualifying campaign getting thrashed by bigger nations.

In fairness, this is a problem that the UEFA Nations League goes some way to solving. But those who represent the smaller nations don't seem to be on board with the Match of the Day presenter's idea.

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Lima, who has 130 caps for Andorra stretching back to 1997, has said rubbished the assertion, despite it taking him almost 20 years to enjoy a competitive win with Andorra.

"If Lineker was born in Andorra, he could not play against big teams? Why? It's a country like England is a country," Lima told Goal.

"It's not a problem for a big team to play once a year against us. It's like a pre-season game that you play sometimes. It's not a problem for them.

"You can even try out other players, other tactical systems. It's good for football that there's this type of football. It's not the football of money, the number of Instagram followers you have, or anything like that. It's a football that's more pure."

Looking forward to Andorra's game against Andorra on Sunday, Lima added: "The England game is a big game, but for us, the game against San Marino is more important. It's a chance for us to win a game.

"The game against England will be a party for us. We are lucky to play in a stadium like Wembley against the England national team with an amazing atmosphere against these big players.

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"We will try to enjoy it, but also to do our job. I remember three years ago against Turkey in Istanbul, we only lost the game in the 88th minute. We will try to work hard, to do as well as possible, but I tell the young players that they need to enjoy this atmosphere because maybe it will only happen once in their lives."

Read Lima's full interview with Goal here.


 

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