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Christian Vieri blasts Gary Lineker over criticism of Madrid's Karim Benzema

The ESPN FC panel talk the ongoing struggles of Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ex-Italy international Christian Vieri has said Gary Lineker "should have known better" over his recent criticism of Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

During Madrid's Champions League draw with Tottenham at the Bernabeu last month, former Spurs player Lineker, now a TV presenter, tweeted that Benzema was "overrated" and "rescued" by teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's goals.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane described the comments as "embarrassing," while Marcelo and Emilio Butragueno were among those to leap to Benzema's defence.

And ex-Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid forward Vieri, now a pundit for beIN SPORTS in the United States, said: "I don't know why Gary Lineker works on TV in England.

"Only in England he can work in TV. He scored all of his goals in the six-yard box.

"The thing is, he's a striker. So when a striker doesn't score for a couple of games you're going to kill him? He should know better."

Lineker responded to the remarks on Twitter, defending his right to criticise what he sees when watching games.

He wrote: "He's on TV to ask questions about football which, surprisingly, involves asking questions about footballers?"

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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