Russo appeared on the series on Wednesday (3 August) to discuss her team’s Women’s Euros victory against Germany at the weekend.
During Russo’s introduction, GMB co-host Kate Garraway pointed out that the sports star has become the first woman footballer to have a transfer fee of £1m.
Madeley then asked Russo: “How are you feeling? It’s three days on now. If I was your dad and asked you that – ‘how are you feeling love’ – what would you say?”
Many criticised the presenter, highlighting that, if it had been a male footballer, it seems unlikely he would have worded the question in that way.
“Richard Madeley just said to Alessia Russo, “how you feeling love”? Good grief! How inappropriate,” one viewer wrote, with another adding:”Did MeMeMeMadeley just address Alessia Russo as ‘love’ while asking her a question her ‘dad would ask’ ??”
“Would he address a male footballer like that? Could he PLEASE stop being so patronising? She’s a European Cup winner, an elite sportsperson – not a primary school kid!”
Another viewer said of Madeley, whose interview technique was branded “painfully dreadful”: “Watching #GMB on plus one and I’m watching the interview with Alessia Russo. How patronising is Madeley? He’s talking to these girls like they did well in a primary school play.”
Madeley’s comment comes one day after he referred to Chloe Kelly, Russo’s fellow team member who was appearing on GMB, as “Coco”, a nickname he said he gives to his own daughter, who is also called Chloe.