David Beckham is about to reap the rewards of the grueling schedule he’s kept in recent months. The L.A. Galaxy star will be selected to play soccer for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, according to the Mail.
“Sportsmail can reveal that the Leytonstone-born England icon is included in the Great Britain squad [manager] Stuart Pearce will submit to FIFA, ending fevered speculation over his participation,” the report says.
“Although Pearce still has to whittle down today’s shortlist of 35 to a final 18-man squad by July 6, it is unimaginable given his status and profile that Beckham will be discarded at the last moment.”
Beckham was instrumental in helping London secure the rights to host the Olympics, appearing at numerous events and shaking countless hands in the lobbying effort. After London’s bid was chosen by the International Olympic Committee, the 37-year-old became an official ambassador for this summer’s event.
But Beckham always harbored dreams of playing in the Olympics. The contract extension he signed with the Galaxy reportedly contains a clause that allows him to play in the Olympics if picked. The veteran midfielder has started 10 games for his club in 2012, scoring twice and adding four assists. L.A.’s struggles — the defending MLS champion is currently last in the nine-team Western Conference — have not diminished Bekcham’s considerable standing in his homeland and star power around the world.
The soccer competition at the Olympics is restricted to players aged 23 and under, but each country is allowed three exemptions. One of Great Britain’s will go to the former England captain. Although Beckham’s international career at the senior level is finished (with 115 appearances for England), playing in the Olympics will only add to his glittering resume.