Veteran overlooked by Pearce but Welsh duo make the cut.
According to Matt Dickinson, chief football correspondant for the Times, David Beckham has been left out of Team GB’s squad for the Olympics.
Dickinson took to twitter to break the news.
Beckham confirmed the news shortly afterwards in a statement to the Associated Press: “Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad.”
He added: “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.”
Team GB will be made up of under-23 players, with three overage players allowed. Beckham has long been considered a shoe-in for one of the over-23 spots but appears to have been overlooked in favour of Welsh duo Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy and Manchester City’s Micah Richards.
Beckham has expressed an interest in being part of the squad several times and was one of the ambassadors that helped to win the Olympic bid for London. The 37-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid player had been expected to captain the side, so his omission will come as a shock to fans and fellow professionals alike.
Beckham now plays his club football for La Galaxy and, given that three Premier League players have been chosen in his stead, his omission appears to be a head-over-heart decision by Team GB coach Stuart Pearce.
Pearce managed Richards at Manchester City and has worked with the 24-year-old at England under-21 level. The right-back was a surprise omission from England’s Euro 2012 squad, with some speculation that he’d refused a call-up, a suggestion that makes his inclusion over Beckham, who has 115 caps for England, doubly surprising.
Giggs and Bellamy are expected to be joined in the squad by compatriots Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.