LONDON: Ryan Giggs wants the Great Britain football team to continue beyond the London 2012 Olympic Games.
This Olympics sees a British team competing at the Games for the first time since 1960 but only after officials from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland objected on the grounds that their status as independent football nations would be compromised by such a side. Manchester United great Giggs was named captain of the team by manager Stuart Pearce, the former England defender. The Welshman will be competing at the first major international tournament of a medal-laden career.
Giggs is one of only five Welshmen, including Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy in an 18-strong squad featuring 13 Englishmen.
“I hope it is not a one off, based on what I have experienced and how much I have enjoyed it this week, I hope in future Olympics there will be more Great Britain teams,” said Giggs. “Both Craig and I are Welsh and proud of it, but for me it was a chance I could not turn down, of playing in the biggest sporting event in the world.”
Liverpool forward Bellamy endorsed Giggs’ comments saying he never expected this to happen.
“It has been immense,” said Bellamy. “I never thought this was going to happen, for me to be involved in anything like this. I just want to embrace this and enjoy every moment. This is something I am going to cherish for the rest of my life.”
Pearce pleased with preparations
Meanwhile, Pearce was in a confident mood ahead of Friday’s friendly with gold medal favourites Brazil.
“As a group we have gelled fantastically, I am really pleased with the way they have come together, which has been quicker than I thought,” said Pearce. “The practice was ideal and we are delighted with the week we had. I set teams up to try to win the tournament with the best players I have available.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.
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