GARY LINEKER APOLOGISES AS ITALY CLINCH DRAMATIC CROATIA DRAW TO REACH EURO 2024 KNOCKOUT STAGES - 'SORRY'

Gary Lineker apologised for 'being gone for a minute' after being overcome with a fit of the giggles while working for the BBC during Italy's 1-1 draw with Croatia at Euro 2024 on Monday night.

Luka Modric looked to have won the game for Croatia, with the Real Madrid star netting in the 55th minute.

But Mattia Zaccagni netted at the death to send Italy through, with the defending champions' dream of retaining the European Championships still very much alive.

Lineker was presenting the game, with the 63-year-old working alongside Micah Richards.

And the former Tottenham, Leicester and Barcelona star apologised after a hilarious moment involving the duo.

Just as a discussion on Italy's Alessandro Bastoni was coming to an end, Lineker was heard chuckling.

When the cameras cut back to the studio, the Match of the Day presenter was seen glancing across at Richards.

"Sorry Micah, If you didn't see this at home, Micah doesn't see very well," he said.

Lineker then gestured over to his colleague and asked: "Just show us what you were doing."

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Richards, who was also starting to laugh, then walked towards the side of the set so he was right up to the TV screen in front of him.

Lineker, who was still clearly amused by Richards' eyesight, then said: "Sorry, I was gone there for a minute.

"Apologies."

The match between Italy and Croatia was another enthralling encounter, with both teams impressing during the showdown.

Modric rolled back the years, with the Real Madrid star icon still going strong at the age of 38.

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But Zaccagni has become Italy's new hero, with the Lazio star scoring to fire his team through to the round of 16.

Despite his side finishing second in the group, behind Spain, Luciano Spalletti was unimpressed by their display.

The 65-year-old accused his team of being 'too timid' with the ball and said they are doing 'nothing more than the basics' at the competition.

"We were absolutely not prudent," he said.

"If the limitation is that we struggle to play out from the back with simple balls, then we will struggle with any line-up or any tactical system that we use.

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"In the first half, we lost the ball in ways we absolutely cannot afford to do.

"That’s not prudence. If we don’t play with quality, if we do the basics and nothing more, then we will struggle.

"It was not about the system, we were too timid in the first half, but the system was irrelevant compared to the attitude and quality seen on the field."

And the former Napoli boss also said Italy are only showing their quality in 'flashes', adding: "There’s no denying it, we were below our usual level in the first half.

"If we don’t create very much, we’re not going to score very much.

"You can see we were thinking about bringing a result home, without really believing that we needed a win.

"It was involuntary, but I expect more from my players, because they show it in flashes.

"They do have the quality, but at times we make really banal errors. We have better capabilities than what we saw today."

2024-06-25T07:41:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd