AUSSIE Tennis legend Pat Cash has been torn to shreds on social media after posting a bizarre dig at the Socceroos.
Just two days before the Socceroos kick off their Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign against powerhouse France on Saturday night (AEST), Cash incited a heated cross-code debate by urging his followers on Twitter to ditch the World Cup in favour of "real man's sport", Aussie rules.
Cash's bizarre slap at the Socceroos was heavily ridiculed by commentators and fans alike for taking an "offensive" view of Australia's place in the world game.
The 53-year-old heaped praise on Hawthorn warrior Shaun Burgoyne ahead of the star's 350th game in the AFL, but couldn't help sticking his boot into football stars around the world for "rolling around on the ground trying to cheat".
It went down like a lead balloon.
The Australian's chief soccer writer, Ray Gatt, labelled the former Wimbledon champion's comment "disparaging" towards Tim Cahill and his Aussie teammates - right at the moment they need Australia to get behind them.
From there the situation deteriorated into an all-out mud-slinging debate between Australia's soccer supporters and fans of the AFL.
Football supporters were not as kind as Gatt in their ridicule of the grand slam winner.
The Socceroos have been having a hard time of it trying to get support back at home ahead of the World Cup's kick-off on Thursday night (AEST).
On Tuesday night, high-profile TV commentator Waleed Aly labelled the Socceroos "battlers".
"The best possible result would be for the Socceroos to get second in the group and get out of the group," Aly said.
"That would be an amazing result."
He said Australia would be satisfied with a 3-0 or 4-0 loss to France in their tournament opener.
"I reckon 3-0 or 4-0 is par. France are really, really good. Have you played them on FIFA, they're amazing," he said, referencing the PlayStation game.
"Their star power… and we've been weak defensively and if you do that to France they will just score. That's par. If it's one or two nil or if we can get a draw out of it, then who knows."
Asked how the 2018 Socceroos squad compared with previous Aussie teams, Aly said: "They're a team of battlers.
"Remember that 2006 (World Cup) team of (Harry) Kewell and (Mark) Viduka - they were great and it's really been trailing off since then. But it's a young team. It's exciting - they could get smashed, but they could do something interesting. It'll be fun."