The World’s fastest man ever, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, earlier this week set the olympic record in 100-meter dash completing the race in 9.63 seconds. His world record of 9.58 seconds in the event is often considered “inhuman” – to be able to run at this speed, he is in a class by himself.
Most top-level amateur athletes at some point in their lives question whether they have what it takes, and Bolt is apparently no different. What is interesting about him is that he hopes to play a completely different sport professionally – international football.
If you think about it, speed is a MAJOR advantage in any sport. Bolt has been talking about taking his cheetah-like speed to the likes of professional soccer, and has even pinned it down to one team that he would like to try playing with – Manchester United.
The sprinter claims to have been a long-time avid Devils fan and even visited the training ground back in May of 2009, where he gave Cristiano Ronaldo sprinting lessons. He recently went on record saying, “People think I am joking, But if Alex Ferguson called me up and said, ‘ okay, let’s do this, come and have a trial and see if you are good enough’ it would be impossible for me to say ‘no’.”
Now we all know the sport of soccer is not just how fast a player can sprint, but more importantly how fast a player can run while dribbling a ball as well as knowing when and where they will distribute that ball. But having said this, a confident Bolt stated, “I would not take up the challenge if I didn’t think I was good enough. I am a very accomplished player and know I could make a difference. I would be the fastest player in the team – but I can play as well.”
United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted that he would like the world’s fastest man to have a try-out and is willing to work with any skills that would help the sprinter succeed. In comparison, Wayne Rooney was quoted saying that Bolt should stick to running as it is a complete different sport.
Speed is an incredibly important attribute, but as said earlier when it comes to speed in soccer, its more important how fast you can run with a ball at your feet. I definitely think it is worth giving the speed demon a chance, because if he can play like he says he can, the possibilities are endless…
Imagine having a corner kick against you in your own area, and if that kick landed poorly to a United player, they would blast the ball down field and let the Cheetah fetch it…. Defenses would certainly play a few metres back in fear of the lighting bolt burning past them, which would create more space in the mid field. Not to mention he is 6’5 210lbs of lighting – just try Marking him on a set-piece.
Of course this is all fantastical, and I am merely entertaining the idea. Bolt may receive his tryout, but I can’t see him having the technical skills and creativity of these professional footballers at the highest level. Sorry fellow United fans, and sorry Usain Bolt. Congratulations on your accomplishments by the way – in running!