Lineker slams Ronaldo for airplane photo on day Sala goes missing

The Juventus star tweeted an image of himself on a private plane, which did not sit well with the England legend

Cristiano Ronaldo has been criticised by Gary Lineker for a picture taken on a private plane as Emiliano Sala remains missing.

Cardiff City record signing Sala and a pilot were on a small plane travelling from Nantes to Wales on Monday evening when the aircraft disappeared off radar in the English Channel.

A search for Sala and the pilot was carried out on Tuesday, but was suspended at 5pm local time with no trace of either person found.

Local police have conceded the hopes for survival for the two are “slim” and said there would be no further updates until Wednesday, while Cardiff City released a statement Tuesday saying they were “praying for positive news.”

There has been an outpouring of support among the football world for Sala, offering their prayers and hopes for the best.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo posted a photo of himself on a private plane on Twitter and Instagram a few hours after the search was suspended.

Ronaldo captioned the tweet with three emojis: a smiling face, a plane and a thumbs up.

The tweet received some condemnation from followers for its seeming insensitivity over the situation, with perhaps the most prominent voice being former England international Lineker.

Quoting the tweet, Lineker added: “Not the day for this tweet. It really isn’t.”

Lineker also clarified his belief on Ronaldo’s intentions, thinking the Juventusstar was oblivious to what he’d done, though he hoped someone could have told him the implications.

“I’m sure he’s done it without knowledge or awareness,” Lineker added, “but perhaps someone could let him know.”

Ronaldo had been in the Spanish capital on Tuesday, as he pled guilty to charges of tax evasion during his time at Real Madrid.

The forward elected to appear in court rather than address the judge by video link and accepted a suspended sentence as part of his punishment, as well as being forced to pay out nearly €19 million (£17m/$22m) in fines.

Spanish law permits judges to give two-year suspended sentences for first-time offenders.