Recently announced captain of the Great Britain football squad Ryan Giggs has pledged to make the most of London 2012 as he thought his last chance of playing in a major tournament had long gone.
Despite having a long and successful career, London 2012 will be Ryan’s first major tournament on the international stage. The 38-year-old failed to help Wales qualify for either the World Cup or European Championships before retiring from international football in 2007 so is intent to make the most of this summer.
“No, [I didn’t think I would ever play in an international tournament],” he told Press Association Sport. “I didn’t quite get to a major tournament with Wales, which will always remain a big disappointment. But it is great to be involved in the tournament environment – I’ve not experienced that before. I have only been here a day but I am really looking forward to it.”
Much had been made of the reluctance of the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish associations to give their blessing to the unified GB team.
As it is, no players have been selected from Scotland or Northern Ireland, although five Welshman, including Giggs, have been included in the 18-man squad.
“All I have seen [is what is] in the press, really,” Giggs said. “As a player and a Welshman, I just wanted to involved.
“Just like the Welsh lads involved, they’re Welsh but we just wanted an opportunity to play for Great Britain in an Olympics on home turf so I think it was a chance we couldn’t turn down.
“It was one we’re excited about and if other people want to disagree with then that’s their prerogative, but as a player I am excited and can’t wait.”