Rio Ferdinand pays tribute to ‘nothing but majestic’ Gary Lineker as BT Sport presenter calls time to stage Champions League coverage to watch Leicester in Europe with his sons
- Lineker to step down as BT’s European Coverage Host after six years in this role
- His beloved Foxes have qualified for the Europa League for the 2021-22 season
- The Champions League final between Chelsea and Man City was their ‘final final’
- Kai Havertz’s goal in the first half decided a fierce final between the two teams
Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to Gary Lineker as the presenter ended his stay by hosting BT Sport’s Champions League coverage after the European final on Saturday night.
Chelsea’s 1-0 Champions League triumph over Manchester City in Porto was the last time Lineker led BT’s European coverage as he announced he would step down from that role so he can watch his club Leicester in Europe. with his sons.
And the iconic former Manchester United defender – and expert colleague of BT on the evening – Rio Ferdinand paid a rousing tribute to Lineker for his work during his tenure as host.
Rio Ferdinand (second from left) paid tribute to outgoing BT Sport presenter Gary Lineker (left)
He said after the game: “Listen, before I close I just have to say on behalf of everyone at BT, on behalf of everyone here that it has been an absolute pleasure working with you Gary.
“I know this is your last appearance here at BT with the Champions League, but you have been nothing but majestic the entire time I have been working here and I have to personally thank you for helping me in my transition into terms of punditry.
“So on behalf of everyone at BT – and don’t cry! – Thank you so much.’
Lineker, who responded with this photo, is heading to watch Leicester in Europe next season
In addition to responding to Ferdinand live, Lineker also tweeted a response on Saturday evening.
He tweeted: “Thank you to many of you for all your incredibly kind words. It’s pretty overwhelming and means the world. The final finale. ‘
Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes side finished fifth in the Premier League, thus qualifying for the Europa League next season – which proved too enticing for Leicester fan Lineker.