Former World Cup-winning coach Vincente del Bosque offered an advice to the eight-time Olympic Champion Usain Bolt, who is trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a footballer. Speaking to Olympic Channel, the former Spain coach said that the 32-year-old Jamaican can still become a professional footballer, in spite of his age. “For a team that counter-attacks hard and transitions quickly into open space, sure (he would fit in). It would be possible, of course,” Bosque, who took Spain to 2010 World Cup win, was quoted as saying by AFP.
The 67-year-old further said that Bolt could be a good full-back for a team. “With space, he could be a very good footballer. He could be a full-back that covers a lot of space, but it depends because it’s not just about covering 100, or 60 or 70 metres of the pitch,” he said.
Bosque, who also led Real Madrid to two Champions League titles, added that Bolt might need to work on his stamina to survive a full football match. “It’s about doing it many times over and that requires stamina which I don’t know whether he has or not — although I’m sure he has prepared.
Without a doubt as a full-back, with his back towards the crowd and the touchline, that’s where he would be most useful,” the Spaniard said.
The former football coach added that Bolt has earned the right to stand up and say that he wants to play football. “To start playing professional football at the age of 32 isn’t normal. But he has won a lot during his 32 years of life and, he has earned the right to say: ‘Hey, I want to be a footballer,'” he said.
Bolt, who announced his retirement from athletics in 2017, has since then tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa, and Norway, but has not yet received a professional contract. The former sprinter, recently, admitted that the pace and rhythm of football is different from athletics. Bolt, who is currently training with the Central Coast Mariners, made his debut last month in a friendly, where he came on a substitute for 20 minutes. He started at his favoured left-wing position, but was quickly tired out, and later admitted he was not match-fit.