Usain Bolt has a 'realistic' chance of joining Borussia Dortmund

By @saihoops on
Usain Bolt, Borussia Dortmund
Soccer Football - Usain Bolt participates in a training session with Borussia Dortmund - Strobelallee Training Centre, Dortmund, Germany - March 23, 2018 Reuters / Thilo Schmuelgen

Usain Bolt, widely regarded as the fastest man who ever lived, could be on the verge of making his long overdue transition from track-and-field to soccer. Bolt is currently on a two-day trial for Borussia Dortmund, with hopes of playing soccer professionally for the German club.

According to Carsten Cramer, BVB's sales & marketing executive, Bolt will get "a realistic assessment" of his chances to play for the club during his trial. 

"He won't only juggle the ball three times and that is that. He really wants it, and he will get a realistic assessment where he's at. It's been in the making for almost two years, and certainly also down to Usain Bolt's good relationship with our board member (and Puma CEO) Bjorn Gulden. Puma surely plays a role. But there is more: He always wanted it, was injured in between and then there was the Olympics," Cramer told ESPNFC on Friday. 

Bolt, who retired from track-and-field at the 2017 World Championships in London, trained with BVB on Thursday (Friday AEDT) and will participate in a public/media session on Friday.

Usain Bolt to Borussia Dortmund: A marketing ploy by Puma?

Some analysts believe Bolt's tryout is a marketing stunt by Puma, who are shareholders and merchandise suppliers for the German club. Puma and Bolt have enjoyed a lucrative partnership for nearly a decade. 

However, Cramer shot down the speculation and said Dortmund "were proud" that Bolt chose to train with them. A year ago, Ricky Simms, the agent of Usain Bolt, revealed that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist had received trial offers from a dozen soccer clubs. Earlier this year, Bolt travelled to South Africa to train with local club Mamelodi Sundowns in Johannesburg.

"It (Bolt and Dortmund) had to fit. We were not able to integrate such a visit into a normal training week. During this international break, it fits for everyone. He's taking this very seriously, and we are indeed a bit proud that he's chosen us of all clubs. Others would make the shopping window as big as possible. We are doing it a bit more discreet. He's not training in the stadium, he's training at the training grounds, and even behind closed doors on his first day. And in the youth stadium on his second day," Cramer added.

Borussia Dortmund are currently placed third in the Bundesliga standings, trailing FC Schalke 04 by just a point. They are one of the five German teams still competing for a Champions League spot behind leaders Bayern Munich. Usain Bolt is reportedly an avid supporter of Manchester United.