David Beckham has revealed his irritation at suggestions that Great Britain soccer coach Stuart Pearce may pick him for the squad purely for his commercial value.
The former Manchester United man retains his status as one of the most famous figures in the world, with the 'David Beckham brand' generating huge revenues through shirt sales and attendances.
However, Pearce only has the option of picking three players aged over 23 in his 18-man squad for Team GB, and questions are being raised as to whether Beckham deserves a place.
The 37-year-old, though, insists he will only be picked to represent Team GB for footballing and not for commercial reasons.
“Any time I have been asked about shirt sales and filling stadiums, I’ve never said it is disrespectful but it’s the kind of question I have felt is,” said the LA Galaxy star.
"No, I don’t want to be picked on a shirt sale or a stadium filler. I want to be picked because of what I can bring to the team. It’s a thing that has happened all the way through my career and I don’t want that to change.
The former England captain has been the face of the Games so far and on Friday millions tuned in to see the star light the Olympic torch in Cornwall after he had flown in from Athens where it was collected.
But the ex-Real Madrid midfielder further stressed his point by highlighting the managers for whom he has played during his career, and the success he has enjoyed: “Throughout my career I’ve been pretty successful," he said.
"I’ve played for some pretty big teams. I’ve played for my country quite a few times and for managers without sentiment.
"That’s one of the things when you play for Sir Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson, the managers I have played under - they don’t pick players because they want to fill a stadium with people or to sell shirts.”
Furthermore, Beckham believes that not only could he bring his passion into Pearce's side, but also his years of international and top level experience to be a vital member of the squad.
"Everybody knows that I love representing my country,” he said.
“It is one of the reasons I said I would probably not retire from the England team. I have not taken part in an Olympic Games but I would love to be part of the team. If I am selected I would be in good condition.”