Usain Bolt rejects soccer contract from Maltese champions
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt will remain in Australia after turning down the offer of a two-year contract from a soccer club in Malta.
Valletta, the current Maltese Premier League champions, had hoped to lure the 100-meter and 200-meter world record holder to Europe from a trial period with Central Coast Mariners.
But Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms told CNN that his client is not interested in the move.
“Usain will not be accepting the offer,” said Simms. “There has been a lot of interest in Usain and his football career. We regularly receive these kinds of offers.
“The difference here is that this offer was received through the media, not confidentially.”
Valletta recently received investment from the Dubai-based Sanban Group, who have vowed to spend their cash in pursuit of a place in the UEFA Champions League.
They offered Bolt a no-strings-attached deal, according to the Australian Associated Press.
An eight-time Olympic sprinting champion, 32-year-old Bolt turned his attentions to soccer after retiring from athletics last year.
He spent time training with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, Mamelodi Sundowns FC in South Africa and Norwegian club Stromsgodset before moving to a trial with Australian A-League team Central Coast Mariners in August.
The 6-foot-5 sprint king has mainly played as a forward and last week scored two goals for the side in a preseason friendly.
After the match Bolt posted a celebratory video on Instagram with the caption: “Dreams become reality through hard work.”
However, it is not clear whether Bolt will be offered a permanent contract by the Mariners, whose A-League season starts this weekend.
Mariners coach Mike Mulvey has refused to say whether Bolt will become a permanent member of the squad, but the sprinter-turned-soccer player has spoken repeatedly of his desire to play for the A-League side.
“I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving,” Bolt told Fox Sports. “I’m keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team.”
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