The world’s greatest sprinter in track and field history, Usain Bolt, has officially made his transition to his second favorite sport — soccer.
On Friday, Bolt made his debut as a trialist with the professional Australian soccer club, Central Coast Mariners. In addition to receiving “a good ovation” from the crowd of close to 10,000, Bolt said he was a bit anxious prior to stepping onto the field.
“It was good; it was what I expected,” Bolt said during a post-game interview with Fox Sports. “The crowd really gave me a good ovation, I really appreciated that. I was a little bit nervous, but as soon as I got on the field, I think the nerves kind of went. I wish I had more touches, but I’m not fit yet. I just got to put in the work, get up to speed, and I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Following the 2017 World Championships, the Jamaican-native formally announced his retirement from track and field. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist went on to say that he thinks it will take him approximately two months to improve his on-field play and to get acclimated with his new teammates.
In terms of comparing his soccer debut to his historic international debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt says “It’s hard to compare” the two performances.
“It’s my first one,” he said during the interview. “It was a great feeling, but right now I’m just trying to get used to the guys. It’s a wonderful moment to actually get to play at a high level, to play professional football, so that’s what I’m happy about.”
“I think along the line when I start winning championships with this team, because I really believe in them, the moment will be higher and higher. But right now, I’m just happy to be here,” he added.