David Beckham


E News from London blog tile

David Beckham, sadly, will be watching the London Olympics from the sidelines.

The English soccer star unfortunately did not make the lineup for the 18-man squad Great Britain is fielding for the upcoming summer games.

Sorry, ladies, Beckham will be keeping his shirt on after all.

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," Beckham said in a statement. "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."

The legendary midfielder and hubby of ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was included on manager Stuart Pearce's shortlist of 35 players but failed to make the final cut because of the latter's desire to beef up the defense.

The decision not to put Beckham on the pitch likely means the veteran, at the ripe old age of 37 (by soccer standards at any rate), will have represented his country during a major international competition for the last time.

Beckham, who made his name playing for the likes of the Manchester United, served as England's captain during the 2006 World Cup and is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, is credited with helping bring the Olympics to his home country, wooing the International Olympic Committee as a sporting ambassador for the U.K.'s successful bid. Since 2007, he's lived in Los Angeles playing for Major League Soccer's L.A. Galaxy.

Despite the snub, Beckham did take part in the historic Olympic flame handover ceremony in May, and, according to U.K. papers, British Olympic officials say they plan to have him play a significant role at the games regardless.

"As a Londoner, I have been really proud to have played a small part in bringing the Olympics to my home town, and I can't wait for the Games to begin," he added.

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