CARSON, Calif. – When David Beckham was omitted from Great Britain’s Olympic squad many in the British public were stunned by the news—including Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale.
Bale like Beckham was expected to serve as one of the front men of Stuart Pearce’s Team GB side once the Olympics began, but was forced to pull out due to a back injury. But when the roster was announced late last month, the Welshman was surprised that longtime England captain was left behind by Pearce.
“I was very surprised,” said Bale on Sunday before Tottenham’s training session at The Home Depot Center. “He’s done a lot to get the Olympics to London, but also he’s a great player and he’s been playing well for the LA Galaxy. I think that the whole nation is a bit disappointed that he’s not playing in the [Olympic] team.”
Since the Olympic announcement, Beckham has gone on a tear as of late by scoring four goals and tallying four assists for the Galaxy. This resurgence has not been lost on the 23-year-old midfielder, who was once named Footballer’s Association Player of the Year.
In preparation for Tuesday’s friendly, Bale and the rest of Tottenham Hotspur have kept a keen eye on the Beckham and the Galaxy.
“We watch them a lot; they’re on TV a lot now with David Beckham and Keane playing,” said Bale. “The standard has gone up massively over the last couple of years and it’s great to be out here in preseason and play teams like this. It’s good match practice.”
Although Bale will not suit up with Beckham for Great Britain at the Olympics, the Welsh winger is looking forward to facing the English midfielder—and former Spurs teammate Robbie Keane—on Tuesday.
“They’re great players. I’ve obviously played with Keano for a few years at Tottenham and Beckham came to train with us for awhile [in the winter of 2011],” Bale said of the Beckham and Keane. “They’re great players and a great team so it’s going to be a great test and one that we’re looking forward to.”
The Galaxy face Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, July 24 at The Home Depot Center. Tickets for that match are still available, starting at $40, at www.lagalaxy.com/tottenham
Adam Serrano’s LA Galaxy Insider blog can be found at lagalaxy.com/insider
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