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WARSAW, Poland -- David Beckham says he has failed to make the British Olympic soccer team.

The former England captain made Stuart Pearce's shortlist of 35 but wasn't selected for the final 18-man squad as one of three players over the age of 23 allowed to compete in the London Olympics.

"Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me, so I would have been honored to have been part of this unique Team GB squad," Beckham said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press. "Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me. And like everyone, I will be hoping they can win the gold."

Beckham had been heavily favored to be on the team after being instrumental in helping Sebastian Coe, the head of the London organizing committee, and his team win the rights to stage the games in the 2005 vote.

ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer