Usain Bolt Makes His Transition Into A Soccer Player
The world’s greatest sprinter in track and field history has officially made a transition to playing his second favorite sport: soccer.
Usain Bolt says that he isn’t fazed by potential criticism from opposing supporters or the media as a whole, according to reports from The Guardian. The Jamaican track legend played just over 20 minutes for the Mariners in a 6-1 victory over a Central Coast select side in Gosford on Friday.
Admitting to some nerves early on, Bolt says that he enjoyed every minute–It was something of a mixed cameo from the former eight-time Olympic and 11-time world sprint champion.
Both Bolt and Mariners’ coach Mike Mulvey rated his performance as OK, though pundits such as former Socceroo Mark Bosnich stressed that the star has a lot of work to do, soccer-wise.
The Jamaican native received an insane roar from the crowd of just under 10,000 for the match, but Bolt knows he could get something less positive elsewhere in a country where sledging is an art from and a staple at sporting venues.
“Home games I don’t have to worry about that, I think maybe away games will be a little bit different,” he said. “But for me I’m used to stuff like that, also from competitors and the media.”
Although he has now made the switch to soccer at the relatively late age of 32, Bolt stressed that running hasn’t taken as great a toll of his body as playing a contact sport would have done. “We don’t have the contact [in football], so I don’t think it’s hard on my body, so I’m good for five years,” Bolt said with a chuckle. “I’m in good shape and feeling young.”
“It was good; it was what I expected,” Bolt said about his first game during a post-game interview with Fox Sports. “The crowd really gave me a good ovation, I really appreciated that. I was a little bit nervous, but as soon as I got on the field, I think the nerves kind of went. I wish I had more touches, but I’m not fit yet. I just got to put in the work, get up to speed, and I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Congrats to Usain on paving his own way and switching up his whole career.