LONDON 2012: Bellamy is convert to Team GB cause - but insists Wales will always come first
CRAIG Bellamy is hoping this Olympics won’t be his last major tournament - and has no intention of quitting international football yet.
HONEST: Craig Bellamy is looking forward to his major championship debut with Great Britain - but insists making a World Cup or European Championship with Wales remains his ultimate ambition
Team GB colleague and captain Ryan Giggs retired from Welsh duty five years ago after making 64 appearances.
But Bellamy, who is five years younger and already has five more caps, doesn’t plan on following his lead.
And while Welsh football bosses aren’t pleased about his involvement at London 2012 - they remain totally opposed to a British team at the Olympics - Bellamy believes the role of Welsh players at the Games will aid Chris Coleman’s team when they start their World Cup qualifying campaign in September.
“I didn’t set out for this but I want to grip the opportunity with both hands and cherish every moment of it,” said Bellamy, who is rumoured to be quitting Anfield for Cardiff, with QPR also monitoring his situation.
“I’m excited now like when I’m representing Wales. We’ve all come together for one goal and want to do the best we can in the tournament and as a group.
“I’m still working to achieve a goal of representing my country at a major tournament, which is still the ultimate ambition for me.
“I’ve given my best but can’t look back and say I’ve done it yet.
“But it’s a still a goal I’d like to achieve, but if I don’t then I’m not going to cry and beat myself up about it, although I'm not thinking about retiring yet.
“Myself and even the younger Welsh boys in this Olympic team are going to learn so much, they will have better international careers with Wales because of the Olympics.”
Bellamy will be involved in Great Britain’s friendly with Brazil in Middlesbrough this Friday, with their Olympic campaign starting with a group match against Senegal in Manchester next week, two days before the opening ceremony.
They then play the United Arab Emirates at Wembley before heading to Cardiff for what could be a crunch clash with Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez’s Uruguay.
“I’m looking forward to that - playing Luis and also playing in Cardiff,” said Bellamy.
“It’s just been a huge honour to work with him on a daily basis at Liverpool - he’s an unbelievable talent and I know how fired up he is for the Olympics.”
© Sportsbeat 2012