A WORLD cup footballer has infuriated Hibs fans by apparently referring to one of their heaviest defeats during a match in Brazil.
Australian Ryan McGowan - who played for Hearts until last year - was seen to make a 5-1 hand symbol during their match against the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Dozens of Hibs fans took to the internet to claim McGowan was using the world’s biggest football tournament to taunt them about their 2012 Scottish Cup defeat.
McGowan, who set up a possible goal of the tournament during the game, was filmed during a free game making a 5-1 gesture behind his back.
Hibs fans reacted furiously to the apparent taunt.
One, known only as Hermit Crab, wrote online: “Maybe if he concentrated as hard on his game instead of finding convenient moments to get a comfort blanket photo opportunity then his national side may have progressed in the competition. ”
Barney McGrew wrote: “Playing for his country in a World Cup finals and he’s more interested in a snidey photo opportunity to appease fans of a wee team in Scotland that he used to play for a few years back.”
Baldy Foghorn said: “Sums up the level of ‘professionalism’ from the erse, doing that during a competitive WC fixture.”
McGowan left Hearts last summer when he signed for Chinese side Shandong Luneng Taishan.
The defender became a Hearts legend in 2012 after he scored one of the five winning goals in the Scottish Cup final against Hibs at Hampden, Glasgow.
To add insult to injury for Hibs fans, the ITV commentary team mentioned McGowan’s role in the Scottish Cup final.
Hearts fans acted quickly to take snapshots of his stunt, the images going viral online.
Rudi Cameron said: “Absolutely love, love, love Gowser. Absolute legend and a classy one at that.”
Martin McKay wrote: “Class always shows through, never let them forget.”
Alexander Clark said: “Haha, in the World Cup. Still sticking it to them. Class mate.”
The 1-5 hand gesture was used by thousands of Hearts fans to celebrate the cup final win, some even managing to get celebrities such as Holly Willoughby to join in.
In August 2012 a special constable was pictured making the symbol at an Edinburgh derby being played at Easter Road.