By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: June 28, 2012 4:42pm
David Beckham: Left out by Stuart Pearce
David Beckham has confirmed that he has not been included in Great Britain's football squad for the Olympic Games.
The 37-year-old former England midfielder had made the final short-list and was widely expected to be confirmed in the 18-man party by coach Stuart Pearce.
"Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me."
David Beckham Quotes of the week
But now the Los Angeles Galaxy star has revealed that he will not be taking part in the London games.
The statement from Beckham reads: "Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me.
"So I would have been honoured 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."
It is understood Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards will be the three over-age players confirmed by Pearce next week.
Beckham is understood to have been told by Pearce that he had chosen to pick Richards instead because he wanted stronger defensive options.
The former England midfielder had been on the 35-man shortlist and Pearce had flown out to the United States to watch him in action for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
The player could also point out that he would have at least been match-fit while all the other players would be entering the tournament after the summer break.
Giggs and Bellamy were widely expected to be included but the call-up of Richards is also as much of a surprise as the Manchester City defender being left out of England's Euro 2012 squad - after which he refused to go on standby for the European Championship.
Other under-23 players who are almost certain to be confirmed by Pearce include Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Tottenham's Gareth Bale.
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