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Giggs wants Team GB to go beyond London

Giggs wants Team GB to go beyond London

OLYMPICS: Ryan Giggs wants the Great Britain football team to continue beyond the London 2012 Olympic Games.

By Agence France-Presse

Friday 20 July 2012, 10:00AM

Manchester United player, Welshman, and member of Team GB football, Ryan Giggs.

Manchester United player, Welshman, and member of Team GB football, Ryan Giggs.

This Olympics sees a British team competing at a Games for the first time since 1960 but only after officials from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland objected on the grounds that their status as independent football nations would be compromised by such a side.

Manchester United great Giggs was named captain of the team by manager Stuart Pearce, the former England defender.

Welshman Giggs will be competing at the first major international tournament of a medal-laden career – Wales’s last appearance at a leading global football event was the 1958 World Cup.

Giggs, one of only five Welshmen, including Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy in an 18-strong squad featuring 13 Englishmen, said Monday: “I hope it is not a one off, based on what I have experienced and how much I have enjoyed it this week, I hope in future Olympics there will be more Great Britain teams.

“Both Craig and I are Welsh and proud of it, but for me it was a chance I could not turn down, of playing in the biggest sporting event in the world,” the 38-year-old Giggs added.

“I am glad I have done because so far everything has gone great and hopefully that will continue.

“I have had nothing but positive feedback from the people I know, wanting me to do well.

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“The different FAs may have opposed it, but people who I have met face to face have been nothing but positive.

“I am not a politician, but from what I have experienced, I just hope fellow British footballers can experience what I have.”

Liverpool forward Bellamy – one of Pearce’s three overage picks, which did not include former England captain David Beckham – endorsed Giggs’s comments by saying: “It has been immense. The week away could not have gone any better, all the boys have really got on.

“I never thought this was going to happen, for me to be involved in anything like this. I just want to embrace this and enjoy every moment. This is something I am going to cherish for the rest of my life.”

Meanwhile former Manchester City manager Pearce was in confident mood ahead of today’s (July 20) friendly with gold medal favourites Brazil in Middlesbrough, north-east England.

“As a group we have gelled fantastically well, I am really pleased with the way they have come together, which has been quicker than I thought,” said Pearce. “We are delighted with the week we had. I set teams up to try to win the tournament with the best players I have available.

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