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Gary Lineker on Leicester, pubs and pants

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vodka man: Gary Lineker
Vodka man: Gary Lineker

Related tags: Champions league, Uefa champions league, Leicester

Ahead of the Champions League kicking off, the presenter of BT Sport's coverage talked to The Morning Advertiser about both the tournament and his tipple of choice.

The city of Leicester is something that has always been close to Lineker's heart; it was his place of birth and he is a footballing legend at Leicester City after all.

However, since their remarkable 5,000/1 Premier League success last season, the East Midlands city is renown throughout the world. "People are even saying it (Leicester) properly," Lineker ponders. "The remarkable story has catapulted Leicester globally. Everywhere I go, people are aware of the story," he adds. 

Lineker on how the English clubs will fare in the Champions League

Arsenal:​ "Probably the last 16"

Manchester City:​ "The most likely English side to succeed. It is remarkable how quickly Guardiola has transformed their style of play into his own."

Tottenham:​ "They will do all right. They are a young, maturing side that will keep getting better and will do really well in Europe."

Leicester:​ "They will look to get out of the group and then to play one of the big clubs in the last 16 – that would be wonderful. Anything beyond that would be a massive bonus."

Leicester are now preparing themselves to be on the biggest stage for the first time in their history. This week, they kick off their first campaign in Europe's leading club competition, the Champions League, and Lineker is hoping the city's businesses are going to see a boost from travelling fans from across Europe.

"The people of Leicester can't wait for the Champions League, both for hosting matches and travelling. The whole city is ready to welcome clubs from different countries around Europe," he says.

"I am not a pub or club owner, but I imagine it's a massive draw. Even in the group stages this year, the draw has thrown up some magical ties pretty much every night," he adds.

Lineker will be unable to make the most of the draw of the pub for the Champions League, as he will be on presenting duty. However, he does still manage to make the most of his local on other occasions. "Every now and again I pop along to my local in south-west London," he says. "Beer doesn't agree with me, so I'm a vodka and tonic man. Later on I do like a good malt whiskey, but not too many of them – unless Leicester are playing and then I need them."

Whether in the pub or not for Leicester matches this season, Lineker seems to be being more careful with his words, after an ill-thought-out tweet made last December resulted in him presenting Match of the Day​ in his underwear this August. He assuredly says that he will "not make any stupid stupid remarks that will embarrass me at some point in the future".

It's easy for Lineker to say that now, but if we see magic from Leicester on the European stage to rival last season's magical run to the title, who is to say he won't get carried away with his excitement again?

  • BT Sport is the only place to watch all four major football competitions in one place, with live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup. Watch Leicester's visit to Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League exclusively live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm on Wednesday September 14.

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