Sprint legend Usain Bolt is on the verge of sealing a deal to trial with the A-League’s Central Coast Mariners, the Australian club said on Tuesday.
Bolt has long dreamt of playing professional football and even at 31, the eight-time Olympic champion isn’t giving it up.
The Jamaican great and avid Manchester United fan retired from athletics after August’s World Championships in London, and he trained with Norwegian club Stromsgodset last month and Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund in March.
His proposed deal with the Mariners will see him take part in a six-week trial starting next month at the club’s base in Gosford, some 75 kilometres (47 miles) north of Sydney.
Football agent Tony Rallis, who has been working on the deal, told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast Tuesday it has been agreed “in principle… subject to a couple of benchmarks”.
“Mainly, a trial, and of course marquee funds support from (governing body Football Federation Australia),” he said, adding that the arrangement was not a gimmick.
“Once the FFA comes back and says that they’ll be part of the process, we’re going to the trial… This bloke’s an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero, and we got superman.”
The 100m and 200m world record-holder dominated sprinting since bursting to limelight at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
It remains to be seen what his impact on the beautiful game would be.