Despite playing a key role in helping London to win the 2012 Summer Olympics bid, soccer star David Beckham won’t be representing Great Britain on the soccer field this time out.
The 37-year-old had hoped to be named team captain and carry the flag in the opening ceremony but, reports the Los Angeles Times, he didn’t make the final cut for Britain’s soccer team.
“Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me, so I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad,” Beckham told the Associated Press in a statement. “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.”
Only three players over the age of 23 are eligible for the 18-man team. Welsh stars Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy, and English defender Micah Richards all made the cut, leaving no room for Beckhham.
Reaction to the news was immediate with Beckham’s name quickly moving to the top of Twitter’s trending terms.
“If England doesn’t win the gold in mens soccer after they just cut David Beckham from the olympic team they should just end their own lives,” tweeted one Beckham fan. Not all the tweets were quite that grim, but the overwhelming majority expressed outrage at the snub.
“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 [Sebastian Coe’s] team, and I can’t wait for the games to begin and enjoy every moment along with the rest of Great Britain,” Beckham said.