Bending free kicks. Hollywood looks. National hero.
David Beckham - Britain's most famous sportsman - seemed destined to be a headliner at the London Olympics.
Not on the football field.
The former England captain failed to make the British Olympic team, a surprise snub for a local lad who helped secure the games for his city and worked tirelessly to promote them.
"Naturally, I am very disappointed," Beckham said yesterday after being notified that he hadn't been selected for the final 18-man squad. "But there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me."
The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder had made Britain's 35-man preliminary shortlist and seemed certain to win one of the three places allowed for players over the age of 23. Instead, he was informed by coach Stuart Pearce that he had not made the final squad.
Beckham's ties to the Olympics go back to 2005 when he joined the bid team run by Sebastian Coe for the competition against Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow. He was with the team in Singapore when London beat Paris in the final round of voting, adding credibility not just as a celebrity but as an east London native.
Since then, Beckham has taken part in countless Olympic activities. He even accompanied the Olympic flame on a flight from Greece to England last month and lit a cauldron signalling the start of the British torch relay.