Former England captain David Beckham revealed Thursday he had not been picked for Great Britain’s Olympic football squad.
Beckham, regarded as a potential skipper of the side, confirmed in a statement he had not made the final 18-man squad as one of coach Stuart Pearce’s three over-age players.
Pearce had travelled to the United States to assess Beckham’s form last week before making his decision.
“Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me,” Beckham said in a statement. “So I would have been honored 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.”
Beckham, 37, had spoken repeatedly of his desire to play in an Olympics staged in his hometown.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid was widely expected to be granted a place in the squad as reward for his role in helping London win the Olympics at the 2005 International Olympic Committee vote in Singapore.
The football superstar’s presence on the campaign trail in Singapore is often credited as being one of the key factors in tipping the vote in London’s favour during the final few days of lobbying