Rio Ferdinand to join BBC punditry team for 2014 World Cup in Brazil
I can't wait to be involved in the BBC's coverage, both as a studio pundit and with all the other exciting opportunities we're working on. I really want to provide a different sort of insight and analysis, sharing my experiences of what it is like to be an England footballer at a major tournament."Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand, who has played 81 times for his country, will provide analysis and insight throughout the tournament, alongside former England internationals Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Philip Neville - together with other international stars.
Ferdinand, who has been selected for four World Cup squads, represented England in Japan/Korea in 2002 and Germany in 2006, reaching the quarter-finals on both occasions. The Manchester United defender brings with him a wealth of international and domestic experience, including six Premier League titles and a Champions League winners medal.
Rio remains close to many in the England squad and will also help shape the future of the game in this country through his role on Greg Dyke's FA Commission. In addition to his punditry role, Ferdinand will also front a documentary, film features during the tournament and have a special role with interactive and social media content, as the BBC looks to provide audiences with the first truly digital World Cup.
"I can't wait to be involved in the BBC's coverage, both as a studio pundit and with all the other exciting opportunities we're working on. I really want to provide a different sort of insight and analysis, sharing my experiences of what it is like to be an England footballer at a major tournament.
"I want to interact with audiences throughout the summer, 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 exited to see how they all perform on the big stage."
BBC presenter Gary Lineker is excited about working alongside Ferdinand: "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. He is a fine footballer with a proven track record and has played with and against some of the top internationals who will be at the World Cup. We're already incredibly proud of our BBC team and we're delighted to add Rio to our line-up."
Ferdinand's representative Jamie Moralee, MD of New Era Global Sports Management, is very happy that his client will be part of the BBC team: "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."
BBC's Head of TV Sport, Philip Bernie, believes Ferdinand could offer a different edge to the corporation's coverage: "We are delighted to have Rio with us for the World Cup and believe he will be a real star of our coverage this summer. The BBC has a proud reputation of delivering the biggest names and highest quality coverage at major football tournaments and we are sure Rio will play a central part in helping us deliver this again.
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