Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Beckham's Olympic football dream still burns bright

March 14, 2012 -- Updated 1946 GMT (0346 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham hopes to be picked for Great Britain Olympic team
  • LA Galaxy star widely tipped to be named captain
  • Three players aged over 23 permitted in each 18-man squad
  • Beckham hailed from east London close to main Games' venues

(CNN) -- David Beckham is determined to go for gold with the Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympics, despite being twice the age of some of his potential teammates.

Beckham, who turns 37 in May, has set his stall out to be one of the three nominated players over 23 in manager Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad for the London Games this summer.

The former England captain will get special permission to take part in the tournament from July 25 to August 11 from his MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy, if selected.

"Obviously I have spoken with Stuart Pearce and he is well aware of how much I want to be involved, but it's down to me being fit and in form," Beckham told CNN.

Hailing from the east end of London, close to the main Olympic stadium at Stratford, Beckham says it would be even "more special" should he earn his place.

"I'm always proud to represent my country whether in a World Cup or a friendly game," he said.

"It's a big year with the queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, for myself to be involved with that will be huge," he added.

David Beckham wants more MLS glory

Beckham captained England 58 times and is being tipped to take the same role with a Great Britain team able to also call on players from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who normally compete internationally as separate teams.

Former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs, himself a veteran at 38, is also reported to be interested in playing for the Great Britain team in London as an over-age player, while 32-year-old Brazil superstar Ronaldinho has been named in their provisional squad.

But one man Beckham and the GB team will not have to worry about is World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who helped Argentina to gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

His country failed to qualify from South America, with Brazil and Uruguay going through, robbing British fans of the chance to see close up a man who Beckham calls "an incredible talent."

He went on: "Messi is obviously the best player in the world. (Cristiano) Ronaldo, again, is up there as well because they're both two stunning talents, they're both two great players who can change games within seconds. It's a joy to watch both of them."

Once the Olympics are over, Beckham will return to help Galaxy to what he hopes will be a second straight MLS title, but is taking nothing for granted.

"Last season was a great success, but it's forgotten now. We need to continue to be successful as team, as individuals, as a club," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT