by Brooks Peck
Since Usain Bolt gained world-wide fame for being ridiculously fast at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he’s been able to mix in visits to his favorite club, Manchester United, his other favorite club, Real Madrid, and more between running ridiculously fast. In the past, he’s talked about playing as a “left-sided defensive midfielder” when he was in high school, but now he’s seriously talking about his future as a footballer and not just his past.
Says the 24-year-old in his autobiography:
“Ideally, if I was to play football, I’d sign for my favorite team — Manchester United. People say it’s not realistic but nobody has seen me play so you never know. If Alex Ferguson saw me in one of those charity matches he might think I could replace Ryan Giggs.”
You might laugh at that last sentence, but considering Sir Alex just bought a player for £7 million sight unseen, picking the next Ryan Giggs out of a charity match could be possible.
But according to the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone, Bolt isn’t just spouting off to sell books:
I ask about his ambitions. Ultimately, he says, he’d love to make a go of playing football professionally. He’s being deadly serious. One of the perks of being Usain Bolt is that sporting stars love to meet him, so whenever he’s travelling and there’s time, he tries to train with a top football team. Last year it was Manchester United, a few days ago it was Bayern Munich. He’s still carrying a copy of the French sporting newspaper L’Equipe, which features a spread on his football skills and praise from Bayern manager Louis van Gaal. He shows me a photo of himself with his arm wrapped round the dwarfed 6ft German forward Miroslav Klose. “If I keep myself in shape, I can definitely play football at a high level,” he says.
Presumptuous? Yes. Impossible? Maybe not. His speed and celebrity would certainly get him a trial somewhere — whether he has any skills on the ball or not.
All this will have to wait until at least after the 2012 Olympics, though. At which point Ryan Giggs will probably still be playing and Bolt will probably still be carrying around that copy of L’Equipe.