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Pearce hails 'incredible veteran pair

31 Jul 2012 10:46:54

Pearce hails 'incredible veteran pair

Great Britain football coach Stuart Pearce believes Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy have set a perfect example for the younger members of his squad as the pair prepare for their Olympic homecoming.

Liverpool striker Bellamy, 33, got on the scoresheet against in the opening draw with Senegal and then combined brilliantly with 38-year-old captain Giggs for the opener during Sunday's 3-1 triumph over the United Arab Emirates. The duo will get the chance to represent GB in the city of their births on Wednesday when Pearce's side meet Uruguay at a sold-out Millennium Stadium in Cardiff,

"With those guys it's the whole package," said Pearce. "They get picked for what they can do ability-wise. That's the first port of call when I spoke to these two individuals. From there, I wouldn't say we have been pleasantly surprised. That was the expectation."

He added: "The professionalism of both is incredible. Craig is as good a professional on the training pitch that I've worked with or played alongside. Ryan is a similar ilk.

"They are great role models to the younger players. If they are unsure how to conduct themselves as professionals, recovering from matches, stretches, doing the rehab to the nth degree, I tell them to just have a look at these two on a daily basis on and off the pitch."

Although GB need just a point to advance they have little margin for error as defeat would almost certainly see them make an early exit. And if the south Americans are to spoil the party for the host nation, Bellamy knows Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez will be a key figure.

"Luis is such a good player," he said. "The one thing about him is he can create something out of nothing. You may think he is going down a dead end and there is no way he can come out of it but he will chop it past someone or put it through someone's legs and that makes him so dangerous.

"He is a wholehearted player, he will chase balls down and run and I have been fortunate to train with him day in, day out, but also even more fortunate to play with the boy as well. He is a special talent."

Wednesday's game could be played under the Millennium Stadium roof.

The roof will be shut for Tuesday's women's game between Japan and South Africa due to rain in the Welsh capital, and if conditions do not improve it will remain closed.


PA

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