David Beckham left out of Team GB football squad for London 2012 Olympics
DAVID Beckham has been omitted from the 18-man Team GB football squad for the London Olympics in a bold decision by coach Stuart Pearce that will divide opinion.
Beckham had been desperate to represent his country as one of three over-age players in the squad, but will now not receive the international swansong that he craved.
In a statement Beckham said: "Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honoured to have been part of this unique Team GB squad."
"Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.
"As a Londoner, I will have been really proud to have played a small part in bringing the Olympics to my home town as part of Seb's team, and I can't wait for the Games to begin and enjoy every moment along with the rest of Great Britain."
Beckham has been a consistent supporter of the London 2012 Games, acting as an ambassador first for the bid and latterly for the Games themselves.
His central role in driving public attention to the project was underlined last month when he was chosen to carry the Olympic flame on its arrival in the UK from Athens.
Pearce’s rejection of the former England captain’s claims came after twice travelling to the US to watch him play.
The coach is reported to have selected Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and defender Micah Richards as his three overage players.
Richards is available because he did not travel with England to Euro 2012 having refused to go on the standby list.
Had he accepted he would have been in the squad. Martin Kelly took his place and following Gary Cahill’s injury travelled to Poland and Ukraine.
Pearce is scheduled to announce his full squad, with 15 players aged under-23 set to be named. Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is expected to be among those named.