Olympic sprint king Usain Bolt's desire to become a professional footballer is about to come true. The Jamaican track legend is to train with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, it has been revealed.
Bolt announced the news in an interview with The Guardian this weekend. It was subsequently confirmed by the German club.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke denied the move was a marketing ploy, saying it had the backing of coach Thomas Tuchel.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
However, he was less clear about whether Bolt had a realistic chance of making the first team.
"This is not a joke. This is not a marketing measure," Watzke told Kicker magazine. "Of course he won't visit us during important weeks when we have Champions League matches, but he could in the pre-season. We are delighted and this is an honour for us."
However, says the Guardian: "Dortmund and Bolt are both sponsored by the same Germany-based sports goods company Puma, whose president contacted Dortmund to say that Bolt had asked about training with the team."
Bolt's time with the German team may prove short-lived if he proves to be a success as he made it clear to the Guardian he was a Manchester United fan.
"For me, if I could get to play for Manchester United, that would be like a dream come true. Yes, that would be epic," he said.
At 29, the sprinter is somewhat long in the tooth for an apprentice footballer and would have his work cut out matching his achievements as an Olympian.
Since bursting into the scene at the 2008 Olympics, Bolt has won nine golds, winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at Beijing, London and Rio.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.