Beckham snub a poor way to treat a national treasure
Published: 13.07.12 / Written by: David Gold
David Beckham was confirmed by Stuart Pearce to be absent from the Olympic squad for the menís football tournament.
It is an end to an international career which promised a golden end if Britain could have been surprisingly triumphant on home soil this summer in their national sport.
Yet now Beckham must focus on the mundane reality of life at LA Galaxy, as his career winds down. The 37 year old must wonder whether he is the victim of the media which has made him the star he is. But Pearce insisted today at Wembley that everyone was treated the same and Beckham had not made the cut.
On one hand, it makes sense. From a football perspective, Ryan Giggs probably is a better option, playing as he does, still, for Manchester United, the top team in England. And then including Micah Richards, a key defender and member of the title winning Man City team, also makes sense. Whilst Craig Bellamy is a lively and talented forward with the pace and intelligence to cause problems for anyone.
But Beckham is arguably, probably, the best English player of the last decade. He has been Englandís most iconic player, done more for the Football Association than any other player, and for Engilsh football. And of course, for the Olympics. It was Beckham who played such a big role in winning the Olympic Games for London, and the area of London so close to where he was born in Leytonstone.
He has also gone to lengths beyond the call of duty for his country, flying across the world, training with European teams during the American close season and doing whatever it takes to make himself fit and available. Few others can, if any, match his dedication to his country. Some may profess loyalty and passion, but many have refused to play for England as a back up at the recent Euro 2012 tournament. Such disloyalty is an insult to the national team, the coach and the FA.
Beckham would never have done such a thing. For that reason, and so many others, he epitomises the spirit of the Olympics, better than any other player. He works harder, trains harder and has a more genuine passion and dedication to the national team and to his country than most players to have played for England during his career.
Sure, Beckham has lost his pace, and is half the player he once was. He has lost most of those attributes which made him so feared when he was with Manchester United and then Real Madrid. But if anyone deserved to be picked for non-football reasons, then it is Beckham.