Usain Bolt gives up on football dreams and says he has retired

Former Olympic champion 100m sprinter has said that ‘the sports life is over’ for him

Usain Bolt has given up on his dream to play professional football. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Usain Bolt has given up on his dream to play professional football. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

 

Usain Bolt has given up on his dream of becoming a professional footballer, saying “the sports life is over” for him.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist was unable to agree a contract with Australian side Central Coast Mariners late last year after a trial.

He made his debut for the Mariners in September and scored twice in his second trial match. Despite the goals – one well-taken, one a tap into an empty net – and a clear improvement in his level of football fitness between those two games, serious questions remained over his general play and ability to turn into an elite athlete in a second sport.

The 32-year-old turned down an offer from Maltese club Valletta, reportedly because the club could not afford his wage demands, and also spent time training with Norwegian team Stromsgodset and German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017 and still holds the 100m and 200m world records, said he does not regret trying to become a professional footballer.

“It was fun while it lasted,” he said. “I don’t want to say it wasn’t dealt with properly, but I think we went about it not the way we should …

“You live and you learn. It was a good experience, I really enjoyed just being in a team.”

Bolt, who won Olympic sprint gold medals in Beijing, London and Rio, said he would now focus on his business ventures.

“I’m just doing many different things ... the sports life is over, so I’m now moving into different businesses.

“I have a lot of things in the pipeline, so as I say, I’m just dabbling in everything and trying to be a business man now.” – Guardian service

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