Pearce to watch Beckham in action
Stuart Pearce will fly to the United States to watch David Beckham in action next week – with former Brazil star Ronaldo insisting the 36-year-old deserves to be picked for the Great Britain Olympic team.
Pearce will watch Beckham play for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Seattle on May 2 but insists he is under no pressure to pick the veteran midfielder as one of three over-age players to bring some glamor to the Team GB squad.
Pearce will announce the 18-man Olympic squad in the middle of May and said he will make his judgement solely on grounds of form and fitness.
He said: "David Beckham will be treated exactly the same as any other individual, whether it is young or over-age.
"Form and fitness will dictate what the make-up of the squad will be. David falls into the same category. I have a duty of care to the Great Britain squad to try and win a gold medal. I will pick the strongest possible squad I can.
"I will know a bit more when I go to the States to see what form (Beckham) is in. He’s made the shortlist and he has been a great ambassador for this country and the Olympics, but that’s no recommendation that he will get in the squad and that’s fair and square across the board for all players."
Ronaldo, who was one of the ambassadors for Tuesday’s Olympic tournament draw which saw Great Britain put up against Uruguay, United Arab Emirates and Senegal in Group A, played with Beckham at Real Madrid and is in no doubt that he should get the call by Pearce.
The Brazilian said: "David Beckham is a great player and a great friend of mine.
"I’m sure he would love to participate in this Olympic dream. It’s up to the manager to pick the best team available but if I was the manager I definitely would as he would guarantee quality.
"Beckham is a real calm guy and a team player and despite his status and fame he is actually very humble. Never during my time at Real Madrid did I hear anyone complain about him, and he would help with the younger players.
"He’s still playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and only last week scored a beautiful goal from outside the box into the top corner, he really looks after himself so despite his age I really think he could contribute."
Ronaldo won an Olympic bronze himself in 1996 and he believes Brazil, with stars such as Neymar in the squad, could finally win the one trophy that has eluded the country.
He added: "Neymar is the biggest talent we have in Brazil and I’m sure he will have a big role to play at London 2012.
"There is a lot of pressure on Brazil to break this taboo as the only title we have not won."