I'd have picked Beckham, says former manager Eriksson
Monday, 02 July 2012
July 2 - Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson is the latest figure to express surprise at David Beckham being omitted from Team GB as one of the three over-age players at the London 2012 Olympics.
On the eve of the 18-man squad being announced by coach Stuart Pearce at Wembley Stadium this afternoon, Eriksson said he would have picked Beckham, who is 37, for his experience and inspirational qualities alone – even if he did not start games.
"I would have picked him, put him on the bench at the very least," Eriksson said.
"He is an icon, he should be involved in the Olympic Games in some way."
Beckham (pictured above, left), who currently plays in the United States with LA Galaxy, was watched twice recently by Pearce and Eriksson said: "I hope he [Beckham] will be involved in some way in the Olympic Games, it's important.
"It's the Olympic Games, it is Great Britain, it is England, it is London."
Beckham's former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs (pictured below, right), who is set to feature in the London 2012 squad, said he too was disappointed that Beckham will not be there with him.
Speaking, like Eriksson, to the BBC's Sportsweek programme, Giggs said: "As a former teammate and as a friend of David's I am immensely disappointed for him, but he will take it on his chin and carry on with his career.
"It's just one of those things that wasn't meant to be.
"It's Stuart Pearce's job to pick a team that he thinks can win.
"That's what he's done – unfortunately David's not in that 18."
June 2012: Mike Rowbottom: Beckham and Farah – everyday tales of athletes and celebrity
June 2012: Beckham's omission shows there is no room for sentiment in Team GB
June 2012: Beckham left out of London 2012 by Team GB
May 2012: "No pressure" on Team GB to pick Beckham, says Coe
April 2012: Ronaldo urges Team GB to pick Beckham for Olympic football squad