Former Italy international Christian Vieri hit out at Gary Lineker over his criticism of Karim Benzema, defending the struggling Real Madrid striker. Lineker and Benzema have been involved in a war of words with the Madrid man battling for goals this season.

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The France international has scored just twice in 12 games in all competitions, leading to criticism of his displays. Vieri, another striker who scored regularly for club and country, said Lineker's criticism was unfair.

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"I don't know why Gary Lineker works on TV. He scored all of his goals in the six-yard box," he told BeIN SPORTS . "The thing is, he's a striker, so when a striker doesn't score for a couple of games, you going to kill him? He should know better."

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Lineker responded on Twitter , writing: "He's on TV to ask questions about football which, surprisingly, involves asking questions about footballers."