Former England captain David Beckham is desperate to be involved in the Great Britain football team at next year's London Olympics - even if that means being restricted to a backroom role.
The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who made his name at Manchester United, has not been involved in an England squad since October 2009, with Italian manager Fabio Capello all but calling time on his international career. Beckham will be 37 by the time the Games start on July 25 but, having played a role in bringing the Olympics to his home city he is especially keen to be involved in 2012.
"So far I've heard I'm going to be managing, coaching, playing," he said on Wednesday. "We'll see but I would like to be part of it in some way. I'd love to be a player in it, of course, but just to be part of that team would be pretty incredible because for a football team to go into the Olympics in England is a huge thing."
However, while the English Football Association remains supportive of fielding a Great Britain team at the Games, governing bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - the other constituent nations of the United Kingdom -- remain deeply sceptical.
Many officials and supporters fear the creation of a combined Great Britain team, even for the purposes of an Olympic Games, could be the start of a slippery slope that would ultimately lead to their extinction as separate international football sides.