Hansen says Rio Ferdinand and Twitter helped retire him from football punditry

Rio Ferdinand

Alan Hansen has now retired from football punditry following a new generation of football fandom.

Liverpool legend and retiring Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen has said that he is stepping away from broadcasting to allow the next generation to flourish.

Hansen joined the BBC more than 20 years ago and ended his tenure with them on Sunday following Germany’s 1-0 triumph over Argentina in the World Cup final.

Writing his last column for the Telegraph after a 15-year association, the 59-year-old revealed his reasons for retiring, as well as the one thing that could tempt him back to punditry.

Although his reasons are mainly pre-meditated after he made the decision two years ago, Hansen says that Rio Ferdinand and Twitter are reasons that he has called it a day.

“Rio, and Twitter, are two of the factors which prove to me that the time is right to move on after more than two decades,” he wrote.“Rio and I have both played the game at the back at the top level for the biggest clubs and we see and say many of the same things, but Rio brings a freshness to it.

“The viewing public have not got rid of me forever because I will dip in and out of television in the future, but I will not be under contract again to become a permanent pundit on another show. There is an appeal to covering certain Liverpool games, perhaps in the Champions League.”

Hansen made many a controversial statement over his two decades as a pundit on the BBC, most notably his prediction that ‘you will never win anything with kids’ just before Manchester United’s Premier League triumph in 1995-96, which featured a host of youth team products.

But the Scot says that there is only one thing he regrets saying in all his time in punditry, admitting that he misjudged Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.

“Four years ago, I said that Theo Walcott did not have a football brain,” Hansen added. “I was critical of Walcott’s ability and I am pleased to say that Theo has proved me wrong one million per cent.

“He is a proper player and I have to admit that my comments about him were the only time that I have ever been happy to be wrong.”

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