Ryan Giggs in, David Beckham out of GB Olympic football squad
Britain's first men's Olympic football squad since 1960 includes veteran Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs but is missing the host nation's most iconic player.
The name of former England captain David Beckham was missing from the squad of 18 players announced by the British Olympic Association on Monday.
The decision had been expected after Beckham announced last Thursday that he had failed to make the cut, with the 38-year-old Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards the three overage players summoned by head coach Stuart Pearce.
There are 13 Englishmen and five Welshman in the squad, with no players picked from either Scotland or Northern Ireland. Daniel Sturridge, Aaron Ramsey and Tom Cleverley were among the 15 Premier League players to make the cut.
"It has not been an easy task to finalize my squad for this tournament, and the stature of the competition and uniqueness of the occasion has underlined th e importance of every choice I have made," Pearce said in a statement.
"With just 18 places, it is very different from other international tournaments, the options are limited, but it is the Olympic Games and every player in this squad should be very proud they have a chance to compete for a gold medal on home soil."
Giggs is arguably the greatest ever Premier League player but has never played in a major international tournament with Wales.
Britain plays its opening match against Senegal at Old Trafford on July 26, faces the United Arab Emirates three days later at Wembley and Uruguay on Aug. 1 at the Millennium Stadium.
"I remember the huge advantage we gained from playing in front of our own fans during Euro 96," said former England defender Pearce, "and I'm sure with the nation behind us it could be a fantastic tournament for us."
Britain has not fielded an Olympic team since the Rome Games 52 years ago because football federations in Scotlan d, Wales and Northern Ireland feared losing their independence within FIFA.
The world body assured the federations that their status wouldn't be affected by participating in the 16-team competition at the London Games.