Gary Lineker is surprisingly cheerful in his kitchen. He has even made us soup for lunch which, on a midwinter afternoon, is as tasty because it is reassuring . the planet outside could be reeling but here, within the affluent enclave of Barnes, it’s easier to feel sanguine. because the BBC’s highest-paid presenter, Lineker is seemingly insulated from the world’s miseries and woes. Yet he’s also one among the foremost politically outspoken and compassionate people in British sport and, as a waspish critic of Brexit, he’s entitled to feel gloomy that the united kingdom will leave the ecu Union on Friday. agen judi bola

Instead, he’s resigned to a reality he has argued against for four years. “I find it difficult to grasp ,” Lineker says. “But it’s a done deal, so get on with it now. I don’t tweet about it any longer . Some people keep happening about it – but I’m not getting to bother saying: ‘I told you so.’”

Football may be a consolation and, for subsequent 80 minutes, Lineker is engaging company. Britain has become even more insular but he’s still in thrall to a sophisticated game. It hardly matters that Jürgen Klopp is German, or Pep Guardiola is from Catalonia, as Lineker celebrates the “unprecedented” football played by Liverpool and Manchester City within the previous couple of years. Football, for all its ills, looks much less parochial than British politics then it seems appropriate, this week, to ask Lineker more about Brexit.

“My disappointment isn’t even with the result,” he says. “I thought the referendum was fair initially and accepted it – whilst a Remainer. it had been more once we became conscious of the lies – the £350m [which the Leave campaign claimed the united kingdom paid hebdomadally to the EU], or various things about sovereignty, were an entire nonsense. But it had been too negative a campaign from Remain. specialized EU policies on the environment, workers’ rights and freedom of movement weren’t highlighted. such a lot venom and division’s begin of it.”

In his new acceptance of Brexit, can he now see any advantages in leaving the EU? “I’m hoping there’ll be. I haven’t seen any yet. we’d become a unified nation and throw the flag around.”

Lineker offers a weary smile which is soon replaced by sheer pleasure as he turns to the sport he loves. “We’re seeing football that’s unprecedented for a spread of reasons but, obviously, there’s the influence of Pep and of Klopp. They’re contrasting, but they’re both exhilarating. they’re certainly within the top five coaches, maybe even the highest two, in world football. Their different styles increase the rivalry. i really like them both but Klopp’s probably more engaging. you’ll see Pep’s pretty intense in his post-match interviews. He’s diligence whereas Klopp can always put it on. i assume we’ve seen Pep’s dark side.

“But what Guardiola’s done is special. He was a really young coach at Barcelona but he still transformed their players. Obviously they played a system supported Cruyff – which both Pep and that i played under at Barça. That’s to form the pitch as big as you’ll when you’ve got the ball, then shrink it once you haven’t.

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