David Beckham hopes to play in Games
LONDON -- David Beckham still wants a place on Britain's Olympic soccer team at next year's London Games.
Even though he played the last of his 115 internationals for England in October 2009 and missed last year's World Cup because of injury, the former England captain believes he will be fit enough to play on Britain's first Olympic soccer team since 1960.
But the midfielder will be 37 when the soccer tournament starts on July 25, 2012, and said Wednesday that his best chance to make the Olympics may be as part of the coaching team or backup staff.
"So far I've heard that I'm going to be managing, coaching, playing," Beckham said. "We'll see. But I would like to be part of it in some way. I'd love to be.
"I'd love to be a player in it, of course, but to be just part of that team would be pretty incredible."
Beckham's contract with Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy expires in November and he has yet to say where he will play after that.
But he already has some experience of a backup role after missing out on a fourth World Cup appearance because of an Achilles injury.
He instead accompanied his teammates to South Africa as a liaison between coach Fabio Capello and the players.
"For a soccer team to go into the Olympics in England, it's a huge thing," Beckham said. "So yes, I would like to be part of it in some way and playing would be a bonus."
Beckham appeared regularly with the London bidding team that secured the right to host the Olympics and was born in east London, where the games will be held.
"I've always been so proud to represent my country in many different ways, especially when I've played on the field," Beckham said. "But to represent my country and bring the Olympics, with the team that we had, back to the East End of London, it's so proud and it's going to be an amazing occasion.
"To have such a big sporting event in our country, in the East End of London, it inspires so many different people, from young people to old people. It's something that we can all be proud of and all enjoy."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press