Joey Barton launches X-rated online attack on Gary Lineker

-Credit: (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Joey Barton has launched a scathing attack on Gary Lineker, branding him a "virtue signalling t***" following his criticism of Borussia Dortmund's latest sponsorship deal.

The German club recently announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall, ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley.

Rheinmetall's logo will be displayed on Dortmund's licensed products for the match at Wembley, where they'll face Real Madrid in their quest for a second Champions League title. The final marks their return to the London venue 11 years after their last final defeat.

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Lineker, a long-time host of Champions League coverage and a former Barcelona player, reacted to Dortmund's announcement by saying: "First time I'll be cheering for Real Madrid in a Champions League final."

However, Barton questioned Lineker's moral stance, pointing out that he presented coverage in Qatar and Russia - the hosts of the last two World Cups - and suggested he'd continue to work in controversial countries in the future, reports the Mirror.

Responding to Lineker's tweet, Barton said: "Yet, you still took Qatari money for the World Cup. Did you work Russia one as well? And I bet if Saudi get the next one, your trotters will be all over that as well. You big virtue signalling t***."

Barton, the former Manchester City and Newcastle player, has become increasingly outspoken on social media lately, targeting figures such as Gary Neville and several individuals associated with women's football.

Dortmund will arrive at Wembley as the clear underdogs, despite having dispatched teams such as Atletico Madrid and PSG on their journey to the final. Real Madrid, with a Champions League victory just two years prior, are in pursuit of their 15th European title, with Jude Bellingham leading the charge.

Carlo Ancelotti commented: "A Champions League final is the most important game and the most dangerous one. You have to be a bit lucky, play well and never lower your guard but when you reach a final success is so close that you start worrying."