Jamaican icon sets deadline for new club or quits
Usain Bolt has set himself a deadline to kick-off his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
The former Jamaica sprinter remains based in Australia, following his two-month trial with A-League minnows Central Coast Mariners.
But the 32-year-old rejected their one-year deal due to both the low financial offer although it is believed that it was mainly down to not being guaranteed any playing time.
The eight-time Olympic champion competed in just two pre-season friendlies, amounting to 92 minutes, with the Mariners and bagged a brace in his last match.
However, the offer tabled was reportedly only 1/20th of the amount that his agent demanded, so the Jamaican icon made a bolt from the club.
He was clearly seen more as a marketing tool than a player by the A-League and the Mariners.
Maltese champions Valletta FC, recently acquired by Abu Dhabi investors, tried to muscle in with a lucrative two-year deal that would have probably included Champions League football next season.
Bolt declined their offer prior to rejecting the Mariners and is now waiting for the right deal to come along.
He claimed: “I’ve got a lot of offers from a lot of other clubs out there. It’s just to see who is serious and who is not.
“We’ll make a decision before the end of November if I’m going to go to another club or call it quits.
“It [offers] is all over the place. I haven’t spoken to my agent about them yet,but we get offers from pretty much anywhere.”
Bolt started off his quest to impress at German giants Borussia Dortmund but also had unsuccessful top-tier teams in Norway and South Africa before deciding to give it a shot Down Under.
There was endless criticism about his footballing skills, technique and even fitness since he joined Mariners on trial in August.
Bolt explained: “People are going to say what they want, I’m used to this. I used to do track and field and people used to think badly of me when I started and I proved them wrong every year.
“I don’t take it personally, I just laugh at these things because I’ve met Patrick Vieira and I’ve met so many big football players.
“I’ve talked to [Paul] Pogba and [Rasheed] Sterling, and they are happy to see me trying, they say ‘Come on, you can do it’.
“They support me, so I’m not going to worry about some simple players saying some things about me because I have high-level players knowing this is a dream and what I want to do.
“This is not about all about the money. This is a dream, and I want to try and see how good I can be.”
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