Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce has confirmed experienced Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs will captain his young squad at the Olympics.
The 38-year-old, one of three over-age players in the squad, will lead Team GB for the first time when they face Brazil in a warm-up match at the Riverside Stadium on July 20.
Giggs has played over 900 games for Manchester United in a trophy-laden career, which includes 12 Premier League titles and two Champions League triumphs.
Pearce revealed picking Giggs as skipper was a no-brainer and expects the Welshman to lead from the front.
“He’s got the respect of all the members of the group,” said Pearce, who featured in countless intense soccer games during his playing career.
“I think Ryan is the stand-out captain amongst the group. It was the easiest decision of my managerial career. He has been one of the best professionals of the last 20 years.”
Giggs says it is “a tremendous honour to be captain” and will be out to make up for lost time after failing to reach a major tournament during his international career, which ended in 2007.
“You read about the players that have been involved in the past, like Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Ronaldo,” said Giggs.
“Brazil, Spain and Uruguay have picked marquee players. They’ve taken it seriously and want to win it like us.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, who recently fell ill with viral meningitis, will be assessed early this week to see whether he is fit enough to take part in the Games.
Team GB take on Senegal at Old Trafford in their opening game on July 26, before meeting the United Arab Emirates at Wembley three days later.
Pearce’s side complete their group campaign – hopefully on the back of one or two impressive live scores – against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on August 1.