Although Euro 2012 may be beyond David Beckham, Kieran Gibbs yesterday heartily endorsed his international future. Not necessarily as part of the England team, but as captain of Team GB in the Olympics. Gibbs, a plausible left-back for Stuart Pearce's British side, said that it would "only seem right" for Beckham to wear the armband.
Gibbs said that playing with Beckham would be a "dream", before backing the former England captain's case for leading out Team GB. "It would go without saying," he said. "It should be like that. The things that he's done, the way he's served his country. It would only seem right for him to do that and lead it."
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has said that he does not want his players being involved in both the European Championship and the Olympics next summer, but Gibbs, who is currently injured with a hernia, insisted he would not want to be prevented from playing in either. "No, I wouldn't be happy to not play," he said. "As a player you want to be part of anything, whether it be Euros, cups, anything. The Olympics is the biggest stage, so you can't turn an opportunity like that down."
The thrill of the Olympics was so strong that Gibbs suggested it was even more prestigious than the World Cup. "Obviously when a footballer thinks of what he wants to achieve at the top, he will say, 'I would like to win the World Cup for my country'," he said. "But when you think of the Olympics as compared to the World Cup it's above that. Because it's the greatest stage of all. Both are amazing competitions, and obviously both would be amazing to be part of."
Over 1,200 British athletes benefit from National Lottery funding. Lottery players are also investing £2.2bn in London 2012: lotterygoodcauses.org.uk