EXCLUSIVE: Beckham makes latest Team GB cut
Published 22:31 17/04/12 By Oliver Holt
David Beckham has moved a step closer to fulfilling the last great dream of his career by playing for Great Britain in the London Olympics.
With 100 days to go before the Games begin, Team GB men's football manager Stuart Pearce has whittled down his list of names to 80 players and Beckham is among them.
The list includes Joe Cole, on a season-long loan at Lille in France, and Liverpool’s firebrand Wales forward, Craig Bellamy.
And the Mirror has also learned of some of the other players Pearce is considering ahead of the draw for the Olympic football tournament at Wembley next Tuesday.
Tottenham’s Wales winger Gareth Bale, West Brom’s Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt, Crystal Palace right back Nathaniel Clyne and Chelsea’s Josh McEachran, currently on loan at Swansea, are others vying for places in Pearce’s final 18-man squad.
Wolves’ Scotland forward Steven Fletcher and Birmingham’s highly-rated young goalkeeper, Jack Butland, are on Pearce’s radar, too.
But it is the inclusion of Beckham that will create most debate as he closes in on his ambition of captaining the side.
The LA Galaxy midfielder and former England captain is desperate to play for Team GB at the Olympics in his home-town.
His inclusion would be popular with fans but the fact that he is even being considered has been ridiculed by some critics who feel he does not deserve to be one of Pearce’s three permitted over-23 players.
The draw next Tuesday will separate competing nations into four groups of four teams and Pearce is expected to name his final squad in June.