Giggs to lead gold rush
Man Utd midfielder to skipper Team GB at 2012 Olympics
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: July 8, 2012 8:09pm
Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs will captain the Team GB football side at the 2012 Olympics.
The veteran Welshman has been selected as one of three over-age players in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad.
The London Games will offer him a first taste of life at an international tournament at the age of 38.
Giggs has enjoyed a glittering career at club level and will be hoping to add an Olympic gong to his enviable medal collection.
He has been chosen to lead the gold rush, with it hoped that his vast experience will aid Britain's quest to land top honours on home soil.
"Stuart Pearce has today (Sunday) confirmed that Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs will be captain of the Team GB Men's football squad at London 2012," read a statement released on the Football Association's official website.
"Giggs, a winner of 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two UEFA Champions League competitions, will be competing at his first international tournament.
"Giggs is one of the three 'over age' players permitted under the Olympic football tournament rules, alongside fellow Welshman Craig Bellamy and Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards.
"Team GB will play their first match in half a century when they take on Brazil at the Riverside Stadium on Friday 20 July."
Fellow representatives of Team GB have been voicing their support of the decision to name Giggs as their captain, including Liverpool striker Bellamy.
"He is probably one of the best players who has ever played the game," he said. "It is fitting he is captain and also I have been very fortunate to play with him for my country as well, so I know Ryan quite well."
Arsenal midfielder and compatriot Aaron Ramsey added: "Everyone knows what he has done in the game. He has been there and done it.
"He has won many trophies and he is a great player as well. Hopefully he can lead by example and give his experience to the rest of the team."
Manchester United team-mate Tom Cleverley echoed the praise: "He is a great role model for our young players and I am lucky I get to see him day in, day out.
"He is a fantastic player, a fantastic professional and I am happy he is captain."
Meanwhile, Casey Stoney will captain the Great Britain women's football team at the London Olympics, manager Hope Powell has announced.
The 30-year-old Lincoln defender is the England skipper and has won 103 caps for her country.
Team GB open their campaign against Sweden at the Riverside Stadium on Friday, July 20.