Manchester United fans will be seeing a few familiar faces during the 2012 London Olympics. Ryan Giggs and Tom Cleverly will be playing for Team Great Britain, and David De Gea will be participating for Spain and Rafael will be competing for Brazil, according to ManUtd.com. Having four Olympians on the squad is a fine accomplishment for United, because the tournament could have been about the Red Devils not competing in the games.
While David Beckham was not selected for Team GB, according to the USA Today, both Javier Hernandez and newcomer Shinji Kagawa will also not be playing for their national teams at the Olympics. Of course, there were several Manchester United players that took part in the 2012 European Championships or United would have had even more players on the Team Great Britain side, which is also something that United should be proud of.
However, United fans can be even more satisfied knowing that Ryan Giggs has been named captain of Team Great Britain for the upcoming tournament, according to the Telegraph. Really could Team Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce have made a better call considering the massive wealth of experience Giggs has gained in so many years with United? I am extremely happy for Giggs, and thankful that he will finally get some sort of international exposure on a really big stage, hopefully he pops up on international television quite a bit. Granted, it is not the Euros or World Cup, but at least at 38-years old, Giggs has something other than the massive successes at Old Trafford to hang his hat on.
Speaking of Old Trafford, all four Manchester United players will have a chance to play in the friendly confines of the sprawling stadium during the Olympics, which is pretty cool. While unlikely to be any kind of advantage (although Giggs has spent a lot of time on the pitch there), all four United players should be proud of their Olympic accomplishments, and deserve their shot at Olympic glory.
I like many United fans was a bit surprised by De Gea's selection, but nonetheless with the keeper luck in the Olympics, and Rafael has a pretty good chance of winning a medal with Brazil. With the 2012 London Olympics set to dominate sports headlines in the next few weeks, I and many Manchester United fans will be looking for the "Giggs Leads Great Britain to Victory" headline.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.