Usain Bolt has revealed the messages of support Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling have given him as his football career hangs in the balance. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist was not offered a deal with Australian side Central Coast Mariners when his trial ended earlier this month.
Bolt, 32, played 95 minutes for the A-League side in two trial games and scored twice but was not deemed good enough for a contract.
His dream of playing professional football is in turmoil for now – but Bolt says kind words from the Manchester United and City superstars have boosted his self-belief.
He said: “I’ve talked to Pogba and Sterling and they are happy to see me trying, they say ‘come on, you can do it’.
“They support me, so I’m not going to worry about some simple players saying some things about me because I have high-level players knowing this is a dream and what I want to do.
“This is not about all about the money. This is a dream, and I want to try and see how good I can be.”
Bolt saw his skills derided, with former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh saying he had a first touch “like a trampoline”.
But he hit back: “People are going to say what they want, I’m used to this. I used to do track and field, people used to think badly of me when I started and I proved them wrong every year.
“Football is something that I want. I’m sure he [Keogh] is not at the level he was when he started, you know what I mean? “I don’t take it personally, I just laugh at these things because I’ve met Patrick Vieira, I’ve met so many big football players.”
The Jamaican sprint king also says he has offers from around the world so is not worried about the future.