There has been much conjecture about the decision of Team GB coach Stuart Pearce to omit David Beckham from his squad for the London 2012 Olympics. But despite the absence of the former Manchester United star, some patriotic money has come in for the home hopefuls over the past 24 hours.
Pearce yesterday confirmed what everyone already knew – that Beckham is not among his 18-strong party for the tournament. Instead, Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards were selected as the three over-age players.
And although there was widespread dismay when it emerged that ‘Golden Balls’ will not be featuring – even in a coaching capacity, it seems, if Pearce has his way – punters were backing Team GB in the aftermath of the squad announcement.
They are currently third-favourites behind Brazil (2/1) and Spain (9/4), but they shortened from their original price of 15/2 to a skinnier 7/1 yesterday.
In other words, anyone backing Team GB with their free £20 bet – which is on offer for registering with bwin – to win gold at London 2012 will pocket a cool £160 if successful.
Pearce has also called upon some familiar faces from his time with the England Under-21s, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose, James Tomkins, Scott Sinclair, Marvin Sordell, Jack Cork, Craig Dawson and Daniel Sturridge all making the cut.
The squad is comprised entirely of English and Welsh players, with Neil Taylor, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey joining Bellamy and Giggs to complete the latter’s five-strong contingent.
Team GB play a friendly against Brazil at the Riverside Stadium on July 20th before opening their campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford six days later.
Full Team GB football squad for London 2012:
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (England), Jason Steele (England)
Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (England), Steven Caulker (England), Craig Dawson (England), Micah Richards (England), Danny Rose (England), Neil Taylor (Wales), James Tomkins (England)
Midfielders: Joe Allen (Wales), Tom Cleverley (England), Jack Cork (England), Ryan Giggs (Wales), Aaron Ramsey (Wales), Scott Sinclair (England)
Forwards: Craig Bellamy (Wales), Marvin Sordell (England), Daniel Sturridge (England)
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