Richards backs Pearce for future England job

After controversially being selected ahead of David Beckham for this summer's tournament, the right-back is keen to repay his former club boss for the faith shown in him
Manchester City defender Micah Richards has said he is delighted at being given the chance to represent Team GB at this summer's Olympic Games, and also tipped Stuart Pearce as a future England boss.

The 24-year-old right-back goes to the tournament as one of the three over-age players in the 18-man squad alongside captain Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy.

After ignoring the claims of LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, Richards believes that the fact that Pearce is not afraid to make tough decisions stands him in good stead in the future.

"When Stuart gave me the call and asked me if I was keen to be part of it, I said 'definitely'," Richard told reporters.

"People say it's not a Euros, it's not a World Cup, but it's a once in a lifetime opportunity and when he asked me I jumped at the chance.

"To say to your kids and grandkids that you represented your country at the ­Olympics is massive.

"With Stuart, he's not afraid to do his own thing. When he took charge of England against Holland in February he changed a lot of faces.

"Here a lot of people were talking about David Beckham, but Stuart has gone with what he thought would be right for the team.

"I think that's a sign of a good manager, and I do believe in the future he will get the England job.

"I said back in February I didn't want him to get it too soon because I didn't want people to crucify him, but as he gets more experience I think he'll definitely get the job. Stuart gave me my debut at City and he's been amazing for me.

"Of all my managers, he's had the most belief in me. He made me captain of the England Under-21s, then when he got the job for the seniors against Holland he played me.

"Now he's picked me for GB and it shows the massive faith he has in me. It would be nice to repay it.

"When we lost against Holland I was gutted because I wanted to do it for him. All the players are the same."

Richards also found time to praise Welsh duo Ryan Giggs, normally a fierce rival at Manchester United, and Swansea's Joe Allen while hailing the experience that the tournament has provided him with.

He continued: "Playing with Ryan as captain is great, while I'd compare Joe to someone like Andres Iniesta, because he knows how to use the ball.
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"I've heard people saying they're not going to watch the Olympics but it's probably been one of the best ­experiences of my life. Meeting up with the team, seeing the women’s squad as well – it's amazing.

Team GB kick off their campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford on July 26th, then face the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay in the remainder of their Group A fixtures, but Richards has already picked out Brazil as a team to keep an eye on, while also stating that the side fear no-one.

"We're all so excited to get started. Brazil will be a great test, when you look at their squad and players like Neymar, Pato, Sandro, Rafael and Hulk," he added.

"But that’s what you play for, to come up against the biggest teams.

"I think we're all confident. We have to be realistic. We're a new team and we can't expect to gel together ­immediately, but we've got cracking players. We don't fear anyone and we're ­confident in the players we've got here."