The past few months have been turbulent to say the least for Gary Lineker and the rest of Match of The Day.
Lineker has had the main presenting gig for MOTD since 1999, with generations of football fans knowing him as the voice they hear welcoming them to the weekend’s highlights.
However, following his fall-out with the UK government and BBC bosses, it looked like his days could be numbered as the host of the weekly football show.
But a few days after he 'stepped back', the 62-year-old returned to the hot seat after producers struggled to find anyone willing to take his place.
So after what has been such a tumultuous period for the ex-England striker, what next?
Sitting down with LADbible, Lineker opened up about his future on the show, and explained what exactly happened that saw him almost lose his job.
His co-stars and pretty much everyone else associated with the show then said they wouldn’t be on either in solidarity and football fans got an eerily quiet series of highlights with no punditry or commentary.
Lineker explained the reasoning behind his tweets in which he had said that the language used by the government about refugees was ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s’.
“I just wanted people to think about language. There’s so much hate and division, most people are nice and kind,” Lineker said of his tweets.
“I think that kind of language comes from people who shout the loudest. I didn’t call anyone a Nazi.”
He'd told Men’s Health he has since agreed with the BBC that he won’t avoid tweeting about climate change and refugees and said his tweet had been blown ‘totally out of proportion’.
Nonetheless, he was heartened by the response from his colleagues on Match of the Day as so many said they’d been backing out of the show in solidarity.
“I want to thank them for their incredible, overwhelming support. They didn’t need to do that,” Lineker said, explaining that he doesn’t see there being another problem of that kind going forwards.
“As for the future, more of the same. I never thought I’d be a fashion model at 62 but here we are. I want to stay in football and the podcast business is booming.”
While he wants ‘more of the same’ from the future, he has joked about being aware that all good things must come to an end, telling the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast he feels 'ancient' and that his time is 'nearly up'.
Lineker tipped Jermaine Jenas as a possible successor to him in the big chair, saying he was 'probably drifting more towards my role'.
Sadly for Lineker working in football right now means he's had front row seats to his beloved Leicester City and their relegation struggle this season.
He famously opened the first Match of the Day following Leicester’s title win in just his pants after promising to do so, leaving pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright giggling like schoolchildren in the background.
Lineker described that moment as the ‘weirdest thing ever’ but sadly for Leicester fans that was several seasons ago and the team’s fortunes have since plummeted dramatically this year.
“I’m still hopeful, I wouldn’t describe myself as confident,” Lineker said of Leicester’s chances at surviving relegation, which are going right down to the final day.
"The World Cup destroyed Leicester. They’ve been unlucky with injuries and Brendan said investment was needed 18 months ago," he said, warning that no team was ‘too good to go down’.
"It’s more difficult for my sons, they’re all Leicester fans and they’re accustomed to success. That title winning season was a miracle."
As for hanging up his actual boots, Lineker said there was a very good reason he hadn’t returned to football following his retirement as ‘you retire for a reason, why be s**t?’.
Featured Image Credit: BBC
Topics: Football, Gary Lineker, Sport