Beckham doesn't merit place in Olympic squad, says Lineker

Apr 20, 2012
Bill Mann

On the other hand, it could be a done deal for the work Becks put into winning the Games for London

NO GOLD for Goldenballs! That's the belief of Gary Lineker who says that David Beckham shouldn't be in with a shout of winning a medal with the Great Britain football squad at the 2012 Olympics.

The former England striker turned Match of the Day presenter said Beckham doesn't merit a place in Stuart Pearce's plans, in which the manager can select three over-age players in a squad otherwise made up of Under-23s. "If you are going to pick the best three over-age players then you would say no [to Beckham]," explained Lineker in an interview with Radio 5 live.

Beckham, who won the last of 115 caps for England three years ago, will be 37 by the time the Olympics roll around, yet he remains in contention for the Great Britain squad.

The former Manchester United midfielder is on Pearce's provisional list, which has been whittled down from 191 names to 80 and will be further reduced to 35 by 8 June. Pearce must then submit a final squad list of 18 players, plus four reserves, by midday on 6 July with the rules stating that any player who features for England at Euro 2012 is ineligible.

Among the other more mature players listed are 32-year-old Welshman Craig Bellamy, 30-year-old former England star Joe Cole and 27-year-old Chris Brunt from Northern Ireland. All are playing top flight football in Europe compared to Beckham who plays for LA Galaxy in the MLS.

Asked on the Richard Bacon programme if he believed Beckham deserved to make the final list on form alone, Lineker said he didn't. However he then added: "If it is a ‘thank you' for all the work that Beckham has done for the Olympics and getting it to London, then it is a different matter… who knows? It might be a done deal."

Beckham played a prominent part in 2005 in campaigning for the 2012 Games to be held in London and there's a belief that his reward will be a place in an Olympics staged in his native east London. In January the man they call Goldenballs admitted he wanted to be at the heart of the Olympics action, saying: "I would love to be captain. I have led my country before and know how special it would be to lead them into the Olympics."

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