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Beckham's Olympic football dream still burns bright

updated 3:46 PM EDT, Wed March 14, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Beckham hopes to be picked for Great Britain Olympic team
  • LA Galaxy star widely tipped to be named captain
  • Three players aged over 23 permitted in each 18-man squad
  • Beckham hailed from east London close to main Games' venues

(CNN) -- David Beckham is determined to go for gold with the Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympics, despite being twice the age of some of his potential teammates.

Beckham, who turns 37 in May, has set his stall out to be one of the three nominated players over 23 in manager Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad for the London Games this summer.

The former England captain will get special permission to take part in the tournament from July 25 to August 11 from his MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy, if selected.

"Obviously I have spoken with Stuart Pearce and he is well aware of how much I want to be involved, but it's down to me being fit and in form," Beckham told CNN.

Hailing from the east end of London, close to the main Olympic stadium at Stratford, Beckham says it would be even "more special" should he earn his place.

"I'm always proud to represent my country whether in a World Cup or a friendly game," he said.

"It's a big year with the queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, for myself to be involved with that will be huge," he added.

David Beckham wants more MLS glory

Beckham captained England 58 times and is being tipped to take the same role with a Great Britain team able to also call on players from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who normally compete internationally as separate teams.

Former Manchester United teammate Ryan Giggs, himself a veteran at 38, is also reported to be interested in playing for the Great Britain team in London as an over-age player, while 32-year-old Brazil superstar Ronaldinho has been named in their provisional squad.

But one man Beckham and the GB team will not have to worry about is World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, who helped Argentina to gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

His country failed to qualify from South America, with Brazil and Uruguay going through, robbing British fans of the chance to see close up a man who Beckham calls "an incredible talent."

He went on: "Messi is obviously the best player in the world. (Cristiano) Ronaldo, again, is up there as well because they're both two stunning talents, they're both two great players who can change games within seconds. It's a joy to watch both of them."

Once the Olympics are over, Beckham will return to help Galaxy to what he hopes will be a second straight MLS title, but is taking nothing for granted.

"Last season was a great success, but it's forgotten now. We need to continue to be successful as team, as individuals, as a club," he added.

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