If the Summer Olympics had been anywhere but London, England this year, perhaps David Beckham wouldn’t have seemed like such a sure thing to play for Great Britain’s team. But they are, and so he was. Now that the final group of players for the team has been announced, the world — and mostly David Beckham — are shocked that he’s not.
The list of final players for Team Great Britain was released today and even with a shaky start to the season, everyone was sure Great Britain team manager, Stuart Pearce, would have included the soccer star’s name. The London Olympic Committee and Games officials were even assuming that Beckham would play, and thought that he would be an essential part of the Games. While Beckham will still have an active role in the Opening Ceremonies, he will not be walking out with Team Great Britain.
The rules for Olympic soccer stipulate that only three players on each team can be over the age of 23, which Beckham is. It’s thought that it’s not really his poor performance with the L.A. Galaxy that kept him from being one of the three, but rather the fact that Pearce prefers Micah Richards, who Pearce had coached previously.
After the final list of athletes for Great Britain was announced, Beckham issued the following statement: “Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honored to be 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.”