Let’s face it, there really isn’t anything else for Usain Bolt to accomplish on the track. He’s won gold medals in all three events he has entered in all three Olympics he has participated in, sweeping the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100 meter relay sprints since the Beijing Games.
The Jamaican has broken world records, he’s rekindled his sport and he has transcended athletics in a way few have.
At 30, he has already announced that he will retire after the 2017 World Championships in London, which end a few days before his 31st birthday. But he says he’d quit right now for the chance to play soccer for his beloved Manchester United.
Bolt reiterated as much in a Facebook Live session at Facebook Media Central in New York on Thursday. “Bro,” he began, when asked about his soccer ambitions, “listen to me.”
We’re listening, Usain!
“If I had the chance to play for Manchester United, I would go right now,” Bolt said. “I would retire and start playing football right now. That’s how much I really want to play for Manchester United. It’s almost like a dream.”
He’s hardly the first elite athlete from another sport to have declared his wish to be a soccer player. Remember when NFL superstar Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson said he could play soccer and we all took him seriously for a while? His buddy Cristiano Ronaldo promised to come and watch him if he could make a professional team. Sporting Kansas City even gave him a tryout during the 2011 NFL lockout.
Ocho Cinco turned out to be so bad that he’d be unremarkable even in most semi-serious over-30 leagues.
Bolt, however, has always been a special athlete. So let’s examine some evidence of his soccering abilities.
Bolt appears to be a semi-competent juggler of the ball.
And he appears to be left-footed, which is an asset.
But in something even remotely resembling a game, Bolt appears to struggle at playing soccer. Take, for instance, this casual six-a-side pickup affair he played in over in England once. He’s wearing the black T-shirt, green shorts and black socks. He gets just a few touches of the ball, and none of them are very productive.
(Warning: There’s some blue language in the amateur commentary.)
Here’s some more footage of Bolt being not very helpful on a soccer field.
Usain Bolt will be at the track World Championships next year. Because he will not be playing soccer for Manchester United. Or really anybody else.
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.