You may remember Usain Bolt as the fastest man on the planet, but ever since retiring from sprinting in 2017 he’s been trying to make it as a professional footballer. And by God, he’s actually doing it.
With a dream to ultimately play for Manchester United, Bolt had a run with some Norwegian teams earlier this year before signing a trial deal with the Central Coast Mariners, a top-flight club here in Australia. While not a full-time professionally contracted player (yet), he has been training with the team, and on the weekend made his first start in a preseason friendly.
And scored two goals.
Excitement is building, then, that what began as a curious trial a few weeks back might actually turn into something, and Bolt will soon be offered a full contract and a spot on the Mariner’s roster to play the season in Australia’s A-League.
Which of course would mean that Bolt would also find himself in EA Sports’ FIFA, since the A-League is one of the game’s licensed competitions.
“If Usain is picked up by the Central Coast Mariners then he will automatically be included in the Winter update or the next major update, but if he isn’t listed then he might be included as a free agent,” EA Sports told Fox Sports Asia.
I’d say given the hype and marketing potential (oh and his two goals) it’s almost a certainty Bolt gets signed, provided the Mariners can get their finances in order. And even if he doesn’t, his continued pursuit of a career—he’s also turned down an offer for a two-year contract from Valletta FC in Malta—means he should indeed be listed in the game as a free agent.
While people won’t be rushing to pick him up for his ball control or strength stats, everyone will be interested in seeing his pace. Right now the fastest players in the game are France star Kylian Mbappe and Aston Villa washout Adama Traore, both with a speed rating of 96, but Bolt would surely have to go in higher than that.
RIP defenders. Asking them to keep up with Mbappe and Messi is bad enough. Having to stop the fastest man of all time seems a bit much.
Note that Bolt actually made an appearance in the rival Pro Evolution Soccer series last year, albeit as a marketing stunt: