Beckham still in with Olympics chance
David Beckham’s dream of leading Team GB’s football team at the London Olympics remains very much alive. Beckham was named in a 35 man initial squad for the Olympics. Coach Stuart Pearce will select his final 18 players for the tournament on July 6.
The squad details have not been made public, but it is known that Beckham is included, along with the Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy. Pearce is allowed three over-age players in a squad mainly made up of under 21s. There is considerable speculation over the identity of the experienced players.
It would be difficult to exclude Beckham given his image, global popularity and his close involvement with the London Olympics from the initial bid right through to the staging of the Games. Beckham grew up close to the site of the Olympic complex, His involvement would be the biggest PR coup the London organisers could wish for.
Another intriguing possible inclusion in Poearce’s squad is the Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. Controversially omitted from Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, Ferdinand is one of the most capable and experienced defenders available to Pearce.
Ferdinand has suggested that his England career is probably over. "If I'm not getting picked now, especially when people are out injured, then it's unlikely I will be picked again," he told The Sun, although he made it clear he would always be available. "I always said I wouldn't retire from international football until I stopped playing and I won't."
The opportunity to show Hodgson what he could do in a national team shirt at the Olympics might almost be too delicious to resist.