Usain Bolt Rejects Offer To Join Maltese Side Valletta
Usain Bolt’s agent has confirmed the eight-time Olympic gold medalist has turned down a contract offer from Maltese football team Valletta FC.
Bolt is on trial at Australian A-League side Central Coast Mariners but was offered the deal by the Malta outfit earlier in the week.
However, his representative Ricky Simms said the 32-year-old will look elsewhere to kick-start his professional football career, per Tom Harrison of ESPN FC.
“There is a lot of interest in Usain playing football,” said Simms. “We regularly receive similar approaches. I can confirm Usain does not wish to pursue this opportunity in Malta.”
Meanwhile, Valletta chief executive and managing director Ghasston Slimen also told ESPN FC that the offer from the club is “always on the table” despite the initial decision to turn the terms down.
Bolt has been seeking to earn a contract with the Mariners ahead of the start of the upcoming top-flight season in Australia, which begins on Friday. Harrison noted it would be unlikely that the Jamaican would be able to turn out for the team before the next registration period on January 3.
“Football Federation Australia has said it would not raid a special fund set up to lure marquee players to the league if the Mariners decide Bolt is worth the risk, but it would likely be thrilled to have him in the league if only for his marketing value,” said Harrison.
Bolt has at least given the Mariners something to think about during his time on trial, as he netted twice in a friendly win over Macarthur South West in his first start for the team.
Bolt has turned to football after retiring from athletics in 2017, with his legacy intact as possibly the greatest sprinter of all time.
In addition to his eight Olympic titles, he is the world-record-holder in the 100-metre and 200-metre sprint distances. Bolt also won 11 World Championship golds in his distinguished career.
In his attempts to change sports he has trained with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and turned out against Norway’s under-19 side for Stromsgodset in a friendly.