Fast human Usain Bolt has long expressed a desire to play professional soccer once his track career ended. In September 2016, less than 12 months before his final major track competition at last year’s world championships, he told a Facebook Live audience that he was “always thinking about playing soccer” and that he thought he would be “very awesome” at it. Later that year, he reportedly trained with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund.
And on Sunday, he announced on Twitter that he is signing with … someone?
A British bookmaker took odds the mystery team, with a South African pro squad being the favorite, but it turns out the eight-time Olympic gold medalist was pulling everyone’s leg a bit: Bolt’s big announcement Tuesday was that he will be playing in a charity match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on June 10. The match, a benefit for UNICEF, will pit Bolt’s “World XI” celebrity team against a squad of English stars headed by pop star Robbie Williams.
“It is my dream to make it as a professional footballer, so to be able to step out onto the pitch at Old Trafford in June, and play against some of football’s biggest legends is going to be remarkable,” the world’s fastest man said in a statement released on Manchester United’s website. “I enjoy the thrill of competition in front of a crowd, so Robbie and his England team better watch out as I won’t be going easy on them! I’ve got a pretty special celebration planned for when I score, by the way. My team is going to be unbeatable — and Soccer Aid for UNICEF is counting on your support to make a difference to thousands of children around the world. Come and join in the fun!”
Bolt is a Manchester United fan, so a game on its home pitch will be something of a thrill for him. The charity match will have to suffice for the rest of us, too.
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