- by Yemi Abiade -
It was all too good to be true. Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt seemed to have got his wish to play for boyhood football team Manchester United when he was scheduled to make his debut for the Barclays Premier League champions during Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match against Sevilla.
This was a situation made possible by Ferdinand himself, who persuaded new boss David Moyes to let the reigning 100m and 200m Olympic champion play. But the proposition has hit a major bump in the road and Bolt will no longer be playing, according to his agent Ricky Simms.
Despite Bolt’s interest in taking part, Simms highlighted track commitments as an obstacle preventing the Jamaican sprinter from making an appearance. The testimonial, celebrating Ferdinand’s ten years at United, is scheduled to take place on 9th August, a day before Bolt’s first round 100m heat at the World Championships in Moscow. Simms also said that while Bolt does not mind the four hour journey from London to Moscow, it would not be ideal to play in a football match less than 24 hours before a track competition.
Bolt has made it very public that he is a massive Manchester United fan; he attended a match at Old Trafford shortly after the end of the 2012 Olympics. But with the testimonial so close to the World Championships, it is unlikely the Olympic legend will not take part. Bolt will have to wait a little longer for his chance to play for United.
Back in 2011, Bolt first expressed his desire to play for United, saying: “I definitely think I am good enough to play for Manchester United because I am quick and have some skills.” This wish nearly came true after the Olympics, when then United manger Sir Alex Ferguson was considering giving Bolt a trial in a charity match against Real Madrid. But much like British summer time we remain waiting for Bolt’s first game at United…if it ever happens…but if it does then anything is possible.