Craig Bellamy shuns politics to focus on playing for GB Olympic team
WALES international Craig Bellamy is not interested in the politics surrounding Team GB, only the chance to be involved at London 2012.
Much had been made of the reluctance of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish associations to give their blessing to the unified GB team.
As it is, no player has been selected from Scotland or Northern Ireland, although five Wales internationals are included in the 18-man squad.
Bellamy is among those, as one of three overage players, and is not too bothered about the political side of things.
“I never heard anything about that,” he said, speaking at Team GB’s Preparation Camp at Loughborough University. “I am just happy to be involved in this and to have this opportunity. I would have always loved to be involved in this and how could you not?
“I have not heard anything elsewhere. I am not about politics, I am just here to play football. I love playing football and my family really wanted me to do this, so I am just looking forward to it.”
Following the announcement of Stuart Pearce’s 18-man side, much has been made of David Beckham’s omission. The LA Galaxy midfielder had been considered a shoo-in for the squad, with his absence somewhat overshadowing the naming of the squad.
Bellamy insists talk of Beckham has not proved a distraction and seemed irked by the fact it is still a subject of debate.
“What can I do? I don’t pick the squad,” he said. “I have nothing to do with any of that. I have just been asked to play. I will play to the best of my ability and give everything I’ve got.”
Bellamy was chirpier talking about countryman Ryan Giggs’ appointment as Team GB captain. London 2012 will be the Manchester United man’s first major tournament in a long and successful career. Bellamy, who is also making his first major tournament appearance, is pleased for the 38-year-old who, he believes, is the perfect man for the job.
“He is probably one of the best players who has ever played the game,” he added. “It is fitting he is captain and also I have been very fortunate to play with him for my country, so I know Ryan quite well. It is very fitting he is captain and is here.”
Giggs believes he may soon be adding an Olympic gold medal to his long list of honours. The 38-year-old, highly-decorated Welshman is proud to be representing Britain at the Games and believes he may well soon have another medal to add to his collection.
“Obviously it is a tremendous honour to be part of the Olympics,” he said. “Stuart has given me the captaincy, which is even better, so I am really looking forward to it. It is a unique experience and one from the start that I wanted to be part of when I got the opportunity. I think it just got more and more exciting as the Games got nearer and then when the squads were announced I was really, really proud to be involved.
“We hope we can get gold. That is what the players are hoping for. The players are winners and want to do well. You want that gold medal.
“It is going to be tough because a lot of the other nations have picked good players and have got good teams, but we have a good chance.”
Giggs had been expected to feature for Team GB alongside former United team-mate Beckham this summer, but as the squad gathered yesterday, Beckham was instead at Wimbledon watching Andy Murray playing in the men’s singles final rather than with Team GB.
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