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Last updated at 12:41 BST, Monday, 02 July 2012

No Olympic dream for David Beckham

Summary

2 July 2012

One of the world's most well-known footballers, David Beckham, has been told he won't be representing his country on the pitch during the Olympics. The former England Captain was one of the major names involved in helping Britain to secure this summer's Games - but it seems the ball skills which made him famous just aren't needed.

Reporter:

John McManus

David Beckham

The 37-year-old hasn't been selected to represent team GB in the Olympics.

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Report

David Beckham said he was disappointed by the decision to leave him out of the Great Britain football squad for the twenty-twelve Games, but that there would be no bigger supporter of the team's efforts. A few months ago he thought he had a good chance of being picked for the squad, as he'd made the original shortlist.

He revealed on Thursday though, that the team's coach Stuart Pearce had rung him with the bad news on Wednesday evening. The thirty-seven-year-old currently plays for LA Galaxy, but his other major role was as a sporting ambassador who helped Britain to secure the Games, and has been enthusiastic about its legacy. Sports fans are divided over the decision; John Prescott is an opposition politician:

"I think he's done a tremendous contribution for this country. He's still playing football and those skills that everybody talks about in the British football team and top fifty, I'm afraid it hasn't produced it at the finals, and the World Cup and the Europe Cup. We can't get guys that can score. This fella used to 'bend it like Beckham'."

Others support the coach's decision though, saying sentiment shouldn't play a part in deciding who represents Britain at the world's greatest sporting event. As a child David Beckham played football on pitches close to where the Olympic Stadium now stands, and was hopeful about the regeneration benefits that the Olympics might bring to the area.

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Vocabulary

disappointed

sad or displeased

supporter

person who is actively interested and encouraging

shortlist

list of preferred players

sporting ambassador

representative or promoter of sport

legacy

lasting effect / benefits

sentiment

emotional feelings

regeneration

improvement

benefits

advantages or gains

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