Bolt: I will play football for Manchester United

Jun 9, 2011
Jonathan Harwood

The sprinter says one day he wants to swap athletics spikes for football studs

Usain Bolt is the world's most famous athlete, but the Jamaican sprint legend has his sights set on even bigger things and this week reaffirmed his intention to play football for Manchester United when he quits the track.

The Olympic and world 100m and 200m champion and world record holder is a well-known United fan and appeared on the pitch before the Champions League final against Barcelona last month.

Now it seems he has genuine hopes of one day playing in a game. He told the BBC, apparently in all seriousness: "I really want to try soccer after I retire because I've watched football over the years and I think I could be a good contender. I'm really looking forward to it and yes, I definitely think I'm good enough to play for Manchester United.

"I'm good enough because I'm quick, I have a little skill - I have to refine it a little bit but I should be good enough."

Time is on Bolt's side if he means it. When the London Olympics happen next year he will still be only 25.

United manager Alex Ferguson has seen him in action as well. The Jamaican trained with the United team in 2009 and swapped tips with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Some cynical United fans are already asking whether Bolt would be a better bet than Portuguese striker Bebe, who Ferguson bought for £7.4m last summer having never seen him play. He has managed just seven appearances all season, scoring two goals.

The man who can run the 100m in 9.58 seconds would certainly add some speed to the United team, and even if it didn't work out at Old Trafford he could still fall back on his third sporting passion - cricket.

As a youngster in Jamaica, Bolt was a promising fast bowler, but decided to focus on athletics. However he still shows off his skills in charity matches, and has a brother, Sadiki, who is pushing for a place in the Jamaican side.

In the meantime Bolt, whose season has begun relatively slowly with two 100m times of 9.91 seconds, is concentrating on winning the World Championships this year.

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