Usain Bolt before a Real Madrid game. He has always dreamed of playing soccer, specifically for Manchester United. (Getty)
Usain Bolt has always had soccer dreams. The famous Jamaican sprinter is “always thinking about playing soccer.” He has always said he planned to pursue a soccer career after his track career ended. It appears he’s going to get his start in March.
Bolt confirmed Sunday that he will go on trial with German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in March. The tryout was set up by Puma, which has sponsored both Bolt and Dortmund. It has long been discussed. Now, it appears, it’s actually going to happen.
“In March we’re going to do a trials with Dortmund and that will determine what I do with that career, which way it goes,” Bolt told the Express. “If they say I’m good, and that I need a bit of training, I’ll do it.”
Bolt has had a long-standing invitation to train with Dortmund. Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said over a year ago that the invitation was “no joke” and “not a marketing move.”
The trial has been put off by various track events and Bolt’s injuries. The legendary Olympian retired from sprinting in August after the 2017 World Championships, after pulling up injured in his final race. But he’s now recovered from the hamstring tear, and ready to pursue soccer.
“The injury is now fine and I’m back fully fit,” Bolt said.
“It makes me nervous. I don’t get nervous but this is different, this is football now. It’ll take time to adjust but once I play a few times I’ll get used to it. It was the same when I started track and field. I was nervous for a while until I started getting used to the crowd, people and everyone around and it falls into place.”
Bolt has made no secret of the fact that his dream is to play for Manchester United. He’s been a long-time fan. “I’ve spoken to Alex Ferguson and I told him he needs to put in a good word,” Bolt told the Express. “He told me if I get fit and ready, he will see what he can do.
“If Dortmund say I’m good enough, I’ll crack on and train hard,” he said.
Bolt, 31, has never lacked (probably irrational) confidence when it comes to soccer. He has said he wants to become a top-50 player in the world. He has opined that he “can make the Jamaica [national] team, easily.”
He now says he’s a winger, that he’s been training with friends, and that he will up the intensity ahead of the Dortmund trial. Hopefully he’s improved a bit since looking ordinary in seven-a-side pick-up games:
But hey, we’ll give him a shot to show what he’s got after a little soccer seasoning.
“For me it’s a personal goal,” he said in October of a soccer career. “I don’t care what people really think about it. I‘m not going to lie to myself. I‘m not going to be stupid.”
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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.
Originally published January 7, 2018, 3:53 PM