Gary Neville and Gary Lineker in tense argument over footballers free time

Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have clashed on social media over how modern footballers spend their time off the pitch.

Manchester United legend Neville took to Twitter to slam Red Devils players on Monday morning after several were spotted out in public in the aftermath of their Champions League exit to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.

Ralf Rangnick’s side were knocked out of the competition after a lacklustre 1-0 defeat to Atletico at Old Trafford to cap off a hugely disappointing season thus far. And Neville insists United's stars are “tone deaf” for taking time outside of football to explore their various other sporting interests immediately after a crushing defeat.

The Sky Sports pundit wrote on Twitter [SIC]: “I remember a time when United players , managers , executives wouldn’t be seen in their local Italian after a draw at home let alone getting knocked out of Europe. This last week we’ve seen a global tour of F1 , Concerts, Cricket and UFC events. This lot are Tone Deaf!”

His response saw a backlash from fans and others personnel within the sport, including ex-England striker Lineker, who claimed Neville’s statement was particularly unfair.

He cheekily replied to the former defender: “True, they were mostly busy getting hammered down the pub without everyone being on social media to spy on them.”

Do you think footballers should avoid attending public events when they are performing poorly? Let us know in the comments section.

The ex-United full-back then quipped back with [SIC]: “Not sure the spy needs to work too hard at test matches , F1, boxing and UFC,” before Lineker asked: “Do you really think that’s a problem? Going to watch other sports has always been a thing. A positive thing at that.”

Neville has grown increasingly vocal in his criticism of United players for their lack of commitment this season. The club suffered another blow against Atletico as it extended their gruelling trophy drought to five years at the end of the season.

He went on to clarify his tweet, saying [SIC]: “They can go on holiday , relax , take time off. However if you’ve been knocked out of the Champions League , FA Cup , League cup and floundering in the League I wouldn’t think it’s too much to ask to lie low a bit !!"

Neville replied directly to Lineker’s question, meanwhile, with [SIC]: “Of course it’s not a problem watching other sports . However do you think it’s a good look for the Owner ( who hasn’t been to Manchester for an age) to be at the F1 and meeting Dubai elite about their sporting ambitions with United’s current situation ?”

The United hero also messaged: “Would you not adjust your plans if you had suffered a bad defeat as a player to maybe lie low?”

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