Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Beckham wants to play in 2012 Games
LONDON -- David Beckham wants to play for Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, but doesn't expect to play for a European club again.
The 35-year-old midfielder has put himself through a grueling schedule in recent years playing for AC Milan during the Los Angeles Galaxy offseason, but that took its toll as an injury ruled him out of the World Cup.
While accepting he has been pushing his body too hard, Beckham wants to play a role at the Olympics.
"If I'm still playing and I'm still considered to make a difference to the team I'd love to be involved," Beckham said Wednesday during a live Yahoo! video webchat.
A team of English-only soccer players is set to represent Britain. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations won't be part of the team, fearing it would jeopardize their independence and voting rights within FIFA.
Beckham was at the World Cup in South Africa as a member of coach Fabio Capello's support staff after being ruled out with an Achilles tendon injury. Beckham said he has been running for the past 10 days and should be back in action for the Galaxy within two months.
But when the season ends in November, Beckham will take a break, rather than seeking another loan to a top European club -- which is a necessity to stay in Capello's plans.
"I think it's something I will have to think about carefully now -- I don't think it will happen, to be honest," Beckham said. "This injury came as a result of me pushing it too hard for the last two years -- going to AC Milan when I could have had a few months' rest.
"But I did it for a reason, I did it to be part of the England team and part of the World Cup ... but this time around, when the season ends in LA, I'm going to have to take a rest and get myself fit."
Beckham, though, still hopes to end his career at the 2014 World Cup -- and score the winner in the final in Brazil.
Beckham fears that the England players who flopped at the World Cup -- winning just once and going out in the last 16 -- could be abused by fans when the new Premier League season starts next month.
"The players know it was disappointing because we didn't perform," Beckham said. "The manager can only do so much, then it has to be down to the players and when the players go on the pitch they know if they don't perform they don't win games."
Beckham, who was hit by an intense public backlash after being sent off at the 1998 World Cup, didn't want the current squad to face a similar fate.
"I hope not, but we do live in a world where that happens," Beckham said. "You do enjoy the good times, but when the bad times come along you have to learn from them otherwise you just crumble ... In 1998 it was tough and you just have to block it out."
Beckham's appearance on the sideline in South Africa led to suggestions that he could coach England one day.
"It's not a passion of mine to be a manager of a football team," Beckham said. "I'm passionate about the game and being there. I was wearing the suit -- so people thought I'd be doing that [coaching]."