Football great cops flak over female referee gesture

Brazilian World Cup winner Denilson has copped a dressing down over a cheeky gesture towards a female official.

The retired 40-year-old was playing in a friendly match in Brazil when the controversial moment occurred.

Denilson thought he'd scored a goal before the female touch judge flagged him for offside.

The gesture in question. Image: SporTV

The football great then made several love heart gestures towards the lineswoman.

He was instantly rebuked by the main referee - herself a woman - and told in no uncertain terms that his actions were not on.

Not on or just a bit of fun? Image: SporTV

Denílson played for Brazil over 60 times from 1996 - 2003, debuting at age 19.

He went to two World Cups, helping Brazil win the 2002 edition.

He became the world's most expensive footballer in 1998 when he signed with Real Betis from Sao Paulo.