Pearce instead selected Ryan Giggs (Man U), Craig Bellamy (Liverpool) and Micah Richards (Man City) as his three over-age players for the U-23 competition.

Beckham was naturally disappointed, but reacted with the dignity everyone has come to expect of him.

“Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honoured to have been part of this unique Team GB squad,” he said.

“Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold.”

“As a Londoner, I will have been really proud to have played a small part in bringing the Olympics to my home town as part of Seb’s team, and I can’t wait for the Games to begin and enjoy every moment along with the rest of Great Britain.

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