Football

Greene aims to overshadow Giggs

Football has no place at the Olympic Games, says Greene. (©GettyImages)
Football has no place at the Olympic Games, says Greene. (©GettyImages).

Great British Olympic medal hopeful, Dai Greene, used to worship Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs when he was growing up.

The 38-year-old Welshman is expected to be a participant at London 2012, when the Old Trafford veteran takes up a role as one of three over-23 players in Stuart Pearce's Team GB football squad.

Giggs is set to be called up alongside fellow compatriot Craig Bellamy, as well as former England captain David Beckham in a star-studded line up this summer.

The speculation has caused quite a stir, not only with the obvious excitement from fans, but also from competing athletes, with many believing that football has no place at the Olympic Games.

Greene is particularly worried that the Premier League stars, past and present, will overshadow the exploits of other seasoned professionals.

"I like football, in fact when I was a kid Giggs was my idol," revealed the current world 400m hurdles champion. "I wanted to be like him down the left wing and I once had my picture taken with him.

"But the Olympics is not about football. These players do not grow up dreaming of an Olympic medal like the rest of us. They set their hearts on winning the Champions League or the World Cup.

"For me, an Olympic gold medal is all I've ever wanted.

"I think it is important that football does not take the focus away from other sports. Instead, this is the time in the next four years when people have the chance to get about badminton or table tennis.

"And, of course, the track are such an exciting part of the too. I have said before that football had no place at the Games, but I do hope they can do well.

"I just hope their success doesn't overshadow what everyone else achieves because this is all we have ever worked for as athletes."

At 26, Greene is entering the peak of his career, and is aiming to add to his former glories at London 2012, in a bid to help Team GB achieve their collective target of a modern-era record of 20 gold medals.

And, as he continues his Olympic preparations, Greene hopes that individual glory will help him usurp the household names of Giggs and Bellamy as he looks to do his country proud.

"I don't get to represent Wales very often," he added. "I am usually running for Britain, so the Commonwealth Games is about the only time I am just flying the flag for Wales.

"But when I am at the Olympics I want to do well for everyone back home. It is important to me because they give me such good support."

Topics:
Ryan Giggs
Internationals
Football
Manchester United

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