December 5 - Arsenal and England left back Kieran Gibbs has said that he wants to play in the London 2012 Olympic Games for the Team GB football team, despite his club manager Arsene Wenger being vehemently opposed to the involvement of his players in the football tournament.
Wenger has said that the Olympic football competition is "not a real tournament," and does not want any of his players playing in both the European Championships and then the Olympic Games next summer.
Speaking at the National Lottery's unveiling of their "Class of 2012", the team of Olympic and Paralympic athletes which Gibbs is a part of, he revealed that he did not know that Wenger had made those comments.
He also insisted that he wanted to be a part of the Olympics, even if he was called up for the European Championships earlier in the summer.
"I wouldn't be happy to not play," he said in response to a question from insidethegames.
"As a player you want to be part of everything, whether it is Euros, cups.
"The Olympics is the biggest stage so you can't turn an opportunity like that down.
"Obviously I have to come to an agreement but for me if you get asked to represent your country then you don't say no."
The Arsenal man said that he was looking forward to being able to compete alongside club mate Aaron Ramsey, adding that it would feel strange to compete together for a different team.
He also rebuffed suggestions that the World Cup was a greater honour than the Olympic Games.
"When a footballer thinks of what he wants to achieve he says he wants to win the World Cup," he said.
"But the Olympics is the greatest stage of all.
"What a stage they both are...playing against the best in the world, it's great to be a part of that.
Gibbs also backed David Beckham to lead Team GB at the Olympic Games, saying "it would go without saying that it should be like that.
"It seems that's the way it should be the way he has served the country for him to lead it."
Kieran Gibbs is part of the National Lottery's 'Class of 2012.' Over 1,200 elite British athletes benefit from National Lottery funding, supporting them for London 2012. Lottery players are also investing £2.2 billion in London 2012 venues, infrastructure and art and cultural events. Find out more at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk
By David Gold