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06th Jul 2018

Opinion split on Gary Neville’s claim that Uruguayan defender’s tears were “embarrassing”

"Get on with it!"

Darragh Murphy

Gary Neville initially couldn’t comprehend why tears were flowing down Jose Gimenez’s face in the 89th minute of France’s quarter-final clash with Uruguay.

Trailing by two goals to Les Bleus, Gimenez couldn’t hold back the emotion as he took his place in the wall for an Antoine Griezmann free-kick before it dawned on him that it was looking like Uruguay’s tournament had reached its conclusion.

The Atletico Madrid centre-half’s eyes welled up before Griezmann blazed his effort over the crossbar.

There was no sympathy from ITV commentator Gary Neville, however, as he criticised Gimenez for appearing to give up on the game with injury time looming.

Neville branded the tears “embarrassing” as he urged the defender to continue fighting for two late goals.

“Is he crying? What’s he crying for? What’s up with him? Five minutes to go yet,” Neville said.

“I’m all for emotion and passion but that’s embarrassing. Your team’s got five minutes, you can score two goals – get on with it.”

Neville knows all about what it takes to stage late comebacks, having played in the 1999 Champions League final when Manchester United scored two goals in time added on to overturn Bayern Munich.

While some viewers forgave Neville for his opinion on Gimenez’s early outpouring of emotion because of the fact that a refusal to give up was drilled in to him as a young full-back by Sir Alex Ferguson, others accused him of being insensitive to the image of a passionate professional coming to terms with the heartbreaking realisation of being eliminated from the World Cup.