Usain Bolt Blames His Stint In Australia For Failed Football Career
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Usain Bolt has bizarrely blamed his stint in Australia for failing to catapult him into football superstardom.
In particular, the Olympic legend has taken aim at the standard of football Down Under.
After retiring from athletics in 2017, Bolt swapped the sprint spikes for a pair of boots, registering his interest in pursuing a lifelong dream of becoming a professional footballer.
Despite his lack of experience, a number of clubs were interested in signing the Jamaican speedster.
But it was A-League outfit the Central Coast Mariners who managed to secure the eight-time Olympic gold medallist's services on a trial.
Bolt went on to make two pre-season appearances for the Mariners and even bagged a couple of goals as the global media descended onto the tiny town of Gosford.
But his time in Australia came to an end when it was reported that the Mariners low-balled Bolt with an offer of around $150,000 for a one-season deal.
It's understood the sprint king wanted $3 million.
Now, almost half-a-decade later, an interview has resurfaced following Bolt's appearance at Soccer Aid where he seemingly questions his decision to go Down Under.
“I think I made a mistake at the start,” he said.
“When I retired from track and field, I didn’t want to stay in Europe because the media was going to be all over it. So I went to Australia, but the level of football there wasn’t good. I should have stayed in Europe.
“After a year of trials I just said, you know what, let’s just move on from that. So I moved on.”
Usain Bolt with an interesting reason why his trial at Central Coast Mariners & A-League opportunity didn’t work out… 🤔🤥 pic.twitter.com/6g0CjkQTh1— Football Shirt Finds Australia (@FtblShirtsAus) July 4, 2022
At the time, Bolt gave a far more humbling response as to why his football career struggled to take off.
“For sure (I’ll stick with it),” Bolt said back in 2018.
“We’ll see what happens. I think people are still contacting my agent now about opportunities, so we’ll see in which direction it goes.
“For me, I’ve learned that I still have it. I figure that I was improving a lot, so as you can see from the first game to the last game, I really improved and did better. I’ve learned that it’s a little bit harder, but it’s all about dedication and work with the team.”
Now at the age of 35, it's clear the world's fastest human has had some time to reflect and he's laying the blame squarely on the lap of Australia.
This, understandably so, angered many in the Aussie football community as hundred flocked to social media to blast Bolt.
But it was respected commentator Simon Hill who perhaps sums up the collective Australian thoughts best, tweeting: "Well, it certainly wasn’t good when he was playing, that’s for sure.
"Brilliant athlete, but nowhere near a pro footballer. Thank goodness these sorts of PR stunts are long gone."