29
July
2014
|
11:01
Europe/Amsterdam

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes signs for BT Sport

Summary

Manchester United and England legend Paul Scholes has signed a four-year deal to become a pundit for BT Sport.

 

Portugal becomes sixth European league to join BT Sport line-up.

Manchester United and England legend Paul Scholes has signed a four-year deal to become a pundit for BT Sport.

The ex-midfielder, who only retired from playing for the second time just over a year ago, will join the panel of analysts for exclusively live matches in the Barclays Premier League from the start of this season.

Scholes, 39, who has two UEFA Champions League winners medals, will also work as a pundit covering the leading European football competition from the start of the 2015-16 season, when BT Sport will become the home of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

The Salford-born star amassed an incredible array of silverware in a career spent entirely at Old Trafford, making 718 appearances and scoring 155 goals.

He won the Premier League 11 times, the FA Cup three times, Football League Cup twice and FA Community Shield five times, as well as racking up a total of 66 England caps.

Grant Best, Senior Channel Executive Producer, BT Sport, said: “Paul has proved himself to be a forthright and astute pundit since he hung up his boots.

“His recent opinions have been every bit as tenacious as his tackling on the pitch. It is fantastic that we have been able to sign up a legend like Paul to offer a unique insight, based on a record of consistent success at the highest level of the game.”

Scholes will join other former and current Manchester United stars working for BT Sport, including Rio Ferdinand, now with QPR, and Robin van Persie, who are ambassadors for the channels. Ex-teammate Owen Hargreaves is a fellow pundit and Michael Owen is co-commentator.

BT Sport also announced today that it had signed a deal for up to four exclusively live matches a week from the Portuguese Primeira Liga, taking the channels’ total to six European leagues. BT Sport also shows exclusively live matches from Germany's Bundesliga, France's Ligue1, Italy's Serie A and the Scottish Professional Football League.

The Portuguese rights include exclusively live home and away matches played by the league’s ‘Big Three’ teams, current league champions Benfica, Porto FC and Sporting Lisbon. The channels will also have the rights to show the eagerly-awaited ‘O Classico’ matches between Benfica and Porto. BT Sport has won the rights for the UK and Ireland.

Grant Best commented: “We are also delighted to announce today that we’ll be able to offer exclusively live matches from another of the best European leagues, the Primeira Liga. Benfica had a hugely successful season last year, dominating domestic competitions, as well as reaching the final of the Europa League. But there are three powerhouses of Portuguese football and Sporting Lisbon and Porto will be looking to catch up this season. BT Sport viewers will be able to enjoy the very best matches, including the great O Classico rivalry, and watch some of the stars of the World Cup, including Columbian striker Jackson Martinez, who was top scorer for Porto last season, and the inspirational Sporting Lisbon captain and goalkeeper Rui Patricio.”

BT Sport will kick off the new season in the Barclays Premier League with exclusively live coverage of Louis van Gaal’s first league game as the new Manchester United manager on the opening day of the new season on August 16.

The channels, which are free for a second season for BT broadband customers, will also show current champions Manchester City three times in the Barclays Premier League during its initial selection of TV matches, as well as their FA Community Shield match versus Arsenal on August 10.

-ENDS-