Rio Ferdinand joins World Cup coverage

Rio Ferdinand

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The former England captain Rio Ferdinand will be part of the BBC's punditry team at next year's World Cup in Brazil.

He will provide insight alongside former players Alan Shearer and Phil Neville, as well as present a documentary and features during the tournament.

BBC Sport said the Manchester United defender will also "have a special role with interactive and social media content", adding they were looking to provide audiences with the first truly digital World Cup.

Start Quote

Rio has a reputation for telling it how it is ”

End Quote Gary Lineker

Ferdinand, aged 35, said he wanted to interact with audiences "with special forums and using social media to answer viewer questions and provide extra content".

"I'll be cheering on England, especially with quite a few of my clubmates involved. But there'll be a great array of Premier League players on display throughout the tournament and I'm excited to see how they all perform on the big stage."

Long-term involvement

Ferdinand has played for England in 81 games, representing the nation during the World Cups in 2002 and 2006. At Manchester United, he has won six Premier League titles and a Champions League winners medal.

BBC presenter Gary Lineker commented: "Rio has a reputation for telling it how it is and I'm sure audiences will look forward to hearing his opinions and insight in the studio."

Philip Bernie, BBC's head of TV Sport, added that Ferdinand "will be a real star of our coverage".

The player also has a role on Greg Dyke's FA Commission and is friends with many of the England squad.

His representative Jamie Moralee, from New Era Global Sports Management, said: "Rio decided to retire from international football earlier in the year, so the timing works well and it will be great to see him broadcast to such large audiences both in this country and globally via BBC World News.

"He is a key part of our New Era team and we are very keen to start what we hope will be a long-term relationship with the BBC."

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