David Beckham stunned after missing out on selection for the Team GB Olympic football squad
David Beckham has revealed that he has failed to make the cut for the Team GB Olympic football squad.
It was widely expected that the former England captain, who played a central role in London's bid to stage the Olympics, would be selected.
The LA Galaxy player was named in coach Stuart Pearce's preliminary 35-man squad, but missed out when the roster was cut to 18 players.
In a statement, Beckham said: "Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad."
The 37-year-old added: "Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.
"As a Londoner I was really proud to have played a small part in bringing the Olympics to my home town as part of Seb's [Coe] team and I can't wait for the Games to begin and will enjoy every moment along with the rest of Great Britain."
The squad of 18 will be announced next week, with the British Olympic Association issuing a statement following Beckham's comments.
It read: "With respect to men's football, the BOA has not yet received from the FA the list of players who are being nominated for Team GB, so we cannot confirm who is, and is not, under consideration for the side. We are expecting the list no later than the early part of next week."
Beckham's omission is a surprise, but suggests Pearce is picking a team based on football reasons.
Beckham played a significant role in London winning the bid to host this summer's Games, while he has consistently been rolled out at high profile events, including the lighting of the Olympic flame.
It was thought he would be picked in honour of this role, and also for the inevitable commercial benefits of including the world famous footballer.
Yet at 37-years-old, and plying his trade in the American MLS with LA Galaxy, questions over his on field contribution would undoubtedly have been asked.
Pearce is able to pick three players over the age of 23. It is thought that Beckham's former Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs, Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and Manchester City's Micah Richards are the three 'over-age' players who will be selected.
Manchester United teased by Monaco after claims they could have signed 'Luis Suarez of Neymar' instead or £58m Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United star Karel Poborsky goes full hipster
Manchester United hit back at Real Madrid by claiming they let David De Gea 'slip through their fingers into the back of the net'
Premier League Power Rankings: Eden Hazard and Harry Kane continue to slip but Wayne Rooney has to perform against rivals
Serie B introduces 'green cards' to promote good behaviour, fair play and sportsmanship
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees