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Bolt: "I could make a difference" playing for Manchester United

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Usain Bolt is already one of the world's most famous athletes. So how about becoming the world's most famous soccer player?

Given how canyon-wide the gap is between the skill sets needed for world-class sprinting and professional soccer, it sounds like a talk-radio fantasy. But according to the Guardian, Bolt would like to have a trial with Manchester United--and isn't shy about saying he thinks he could hack it with one of the world's great clubs.

"People think I am joking. But if [Man U manager] Alex Ferguson called me up and said: 'OK let's do this, come and have a trial,' it would be impossible for me to say no," he said. "I would not take up the challenge if I didn't think I was good enough. I am a very accomplished player and know I could make a difference.

"I would be the fastest player in the team – but I can play as well," he added. "I am in Britain for a few more days. If Alex Ferguson wants to give me a call he knows where I am."

Of course, outlandish confidence is part and parcel of being Usain Bolt. Far more surprising is that this trial might actually happen. Via Twitter, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand told Bolt he could arrange a meeting between the Jamaican and Ferguson, and Bolt subsequently said the meeting would happen. Probably.

"Rio's going to set the meeting up and I'm going to talk to [Ferguson]," Bolt told the BBC.

There are still so many steps between now and Bolt actually taking the field for the Red Devils that's it's hardly even worth fantasizing about. First, the meeting actually has to happen; then Ferguson actually has to offer the tryout; then Bolt has to prove he actually has soccer skills that go beyond being fast. (Really, really, really fast, but still.) Consider us highly, highly skeptical such skills exist, even allowing for Bolt's greatness as an athlete (and his experience playing informal soccer in Jamaica, where it's one of the island's most popular sports).

But even if the discussion is entirely academic, we're hoping Sir Alex offers him the trial anyway--the inevitable film that emerged from the world's greatest sprinter not just dabbling in soccer but actively trying to prove himself in it would be must-watch viewing ... even if we don't think it would do much to burnish Bolt's outsized athletic reputation.

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