Usain Bolt shows flashes of ability during trial with Borussia Dortmund
The eight-time Olympic gold medallist ended a record-breaking athletics career last year and has this week signalled his intention to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer by linking up with the Bundesliga side.
There were few trademark sprints from the 100m and 200m world record holder but he showed his aerial prowess by heading home from Germany midfielder Mario Gotze’s ball over the top in a half-pitch game involving several first-team players, not on international duty, and youth players.
Whether his contribution was enough to see him earn a full-time deal remains to be seen, but the Jamaican admitted he had enjoyed himself in the training session broadcast on Dortmund’s YouTube channel.
“It was good! I had fun with the guys, they were very welcoming,” Bolt said in a quote on Dortmund’s official Twitter account.
A bumper crowd of 1,409 turned up at BVB’s training centre located in Dortmund-Brackel while there was unsurprisingly an increased media presence to see the 31-year-old put through his paces.
Bolt emerged at the forefront of the pack, wearing UB09 on his Dortmund tracksuit, to a fine reception and there appeared plenty of bonhomie as he interacted with the team before the warm-ups on a grey day in western Germany.
His first touch was noticeably errant during the practice match – although he made up for this on one occasion by nutmegging Italy Under-19 right-back Dario Scuderi to the delight of those watching.
Playing alongside the likes of Christian Pulisic and Gotze, Bolt was largely in a forward role and capped his game with a terrific header into the corner of the net to a chorus of cheers.
However, he did fluff one more chance, chipping well wide when clean through.
Bolt, who once hit a six off Chris Gayle before bowling the then West Indies captain in a charity cricket match in October 2009, was on his haunches at the end of the half-hour game and visibly fatigued.
The self-confessed Manchester United fan recovered to confidently dispatch a left-foot penalty into the top right corner of the net as the training session was brought to a close.
He finished by shaking hands and taking photos with several of the team before signing autographs for some of those in attendance.