Olympic Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: No Olympics for Beckham, Barca seal Alba deal, and more

BeckhamOlympics (Getty)

When David Beckham helped bring the Olympic torch from Greece to England last month, the London native was believed to be a sure bet to be named to the Great Britain Olympic soccer team as one of its overage players.

So much for that.

Beckham has been snubbed from the 18-player squad chosen by Great Britain team manager Stuart Pearce after having been included on the provisional 35-man roster. Beckham confirmed his omission from the team on Thursday. Reports suggest Pearce has chosen Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as the three over-age players on the Great Britain squad.

Beckham has long been a high-profile member of the push to bring the Olympics to London, and when he was included on the provisional 35-man roster for the Great Britain team, Beckham was considered a strong favorite. Now, Beckham will be left to cheer the team on as a fan while he also helps the Los Angeles Galaxy climb out of the early-season funk they have endured.

Here are some other stories to get your Thursday going:


The long-rumored interest in starting Spanish national team left back by Barcelona has finally resulted in a transfer, with Barca announcing the acquisition of Alba from Valencia on Thursday. The transfer is a €14 million deal, with Barcelona paying half now and half next year.

Alba has been one of the real revelations of the European Championships for Spain, and will give Barcelona another dangerous attacking weapon on the flanks. Left back had become a position of need after the team lost Eric Abidal to a liver transplant that has jeopardized his playing career.


An 85th-minute equalizer from Romarinho helped Brazilian side Corinthians grab a 1-1 draw against Boca Juniors in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores final series in Buenos Aires on Wednesday night.

Boca looked to be on their way to a vital victory after Facundo Roncaglia gave the home side the lead with a 73rd-minute strike to open up a defensive affair, but Romarinho spoiled the party in Argentina, setting up what should be an intense showdown in the second leg in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.


What do you think of these developments? Surprised Beckham was snubbed for the Olympics? Think Barcelona will get back to their trophy-winning ways after adding a player like Alba? Who do you see winning the Copa Libertadores title?

Share your thoughts below.

  • TheFrenchOne

    as an LAG fan, can’t say i’m heartbroken by this beckham news. but it kinda sucks he didn’t get rewarded for his involvement in the london bid


  • BSU SC

    The Copa Libertadores game was amazing! Incredible atmosphere and a very entertaining game on the field. Boca Juniors were definitely the stronger side but Corinthians played very well. Can’t wait for the 2nd leg. I’m sticking with Boca to win it all but it can go either way.


  • Don Pelayo

    Beckham would surely offer more to the GB squad than Bellamy. In addition, unlike the three of the overage players chosen, Beckham is in mid-season fitness and form.


  • HoboMike

    And it continues. This is truly terrible for Spanish soccer. Why would any player want to go anywhere in La Liga except for Barcelona and Real Madrid? It is slowly delving into a more stylish SPL.


  • A

    Shocking decision to not bring Beckham. He is hands down the most experienced player available and he is still playing at a high level. The man has been through every up and down you can think of at the international level. He would have been perfect for both his perfect long balls (fits England’s style) and his leadership capacity.

    Bellamy? Really?


  • A

    Alba spent almost his entire youth career in Barcelona’s La Masia. It’s not really a surprise that he would come back home. He has been expected to sign with them for years at this point.


  • 2tone

    Well if team GB crashes out of the tournament the inquest will begin as to why Beckham was not selected. I can see the English papers now!


  • JJ

    Not a huge Beckham fan but WOW, what a slap in the face! It’s not as if GB have any chance of actually placing. So why not give their fans something to surely cheer for. The man has everything and I feel some pity for him.


  • Cathal

    Definitely a bummer to hear about the Beckham snub. Clearly cares a lot about representing his country, and after the injury that left him out of the World Cup, it’s hard not to feel bad for him. Would have loved to see him play the deep-lying playmaker role for GB, but hopefully he’ll get one more cap before he hangs them up. I’m hoping there’s some sense of outcry across the pond about this.


  • Michael Stypulkoski

    That doesn’t really explain why they would pick two overage Welshmen.


  • K Bone

    I understand your point about Beckham being in form since he’s playing right now, but you realize Bellamy is still a good player at Liverpool right? He should have played more at Liverpool, he played better than many of their overpriced signings. He has plenty of quality…


  • K Bone

    Why is everyone surprised Bellamy was picked? He’s still a high quality player and plays in a far more competitive league than Beckham, and is younger. He should have played a lot more at Liverpool then he did, and was usually their only real threat in the midfield. I’m not saying I agree that Beckham shouldn’t have been picked, but Bellamy is no scrub…


  • getrealtime19

    Beckham is one if the most committed players on that island. Guy loves his country or the UK in this case. Played a big part in the bid. Micah ruchards wouldn’t even commit to euro england standby.


  • UnionFan

    at least I can now see him suit up for the MLS All-Stars against Chelsea at PPL Park on July 25. Not much of a consolation prize but oh well


  • Ted in MN

    Pearce is just jealous of the fact that Beckham looks better than him in a suit. Kidding aside, it’s a mistake.


  • Eurosnob

    It’s a great signing for Barca – Alba is a very good player, who fits the need, knows Barca’s system, and they did not overpay for him. You’ve identified a legitimate problem of Barca/Real poaching the best talent from other Spanish teams. However, your comparison with SPL is misplaced. Most La Liga teams are pretty good. The team that finished tenth in La Liga gave ManUtd royal spanking last year. And it’s not that just they beat them in both games, they dominated. I don’t see any SPL team doing the same to ManUtd. It is true that Real and Barca are two dominant teams, and that the last time a different team won La Liga was 2003-2004 season, but Real and Barca would dominate in any league.


  • Old School

    While I agree with you the imbalance is a bit ridiculous, there are still teams that are a lot of fun to watch.

    Since I’m not a native Spaniard, I don’t feel any undying passionate attachment to any particular club.

    Barca are incredible to watch but I have my favorites in La Liga I root for over Barca.

    Athletic Bilbao is an up & coming team that are my current favorites, for instance.


  • Will

    No USA with Donovan, no Beckham with GB…Olympics will be a bore, but at least the Galaxy will be fun to watch.

    Just no Chad Barrett or Christman, please


  • K Bone

    Wow, you are one big loser. How exactly did you draw that intelligent conclusion about me? I genuinely feel sorry for people like you…


  • K Bone

    I certainly agree with you about Beckham. My only point was that everyone seemed to think Bellamy was a crazy choice, but actually I do think Richards was the odd choice as well…


  • bryan

    what a slap in the face to Becks. even the English papers/fans are ripping this decision apart.


  • Paul

    England is clueless…Beckham’s composue on the ball would have helped the Euro team.


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