So, it’s finally happened: the PR stunt, media frenzy field-day of the year. Usain Bolt has debuted as a professional footballer.
Playing as No.95 for the Central Coast Mariners (the number paying homage to his 9.58s World Record), Bolt featured for a 20 minute spell having longed to become a professional footballer for years. And what a 20 minutes it was.
While his dream is to one day don the red shirt of Manchester United, for now it looks like he’ll have to settle for Australian nonentities instead.
But if this sportsman can make the jump from his respective discipline to football, can’t it be done the other way around? Obviously for a footballer to take up another sport would be a big risk, and so who should try would have to be a considered, careful decision.
Fortunately, here at Paddy Power we’ve done the consideration ourselves and drummed up a list of the five best footballers for giving another sport a go. We’re pretty confident these guys will take the plunge.
1) Hugo Lloris – Formula One
Rumour has it the French ‘keeper and Spurs captain has a penchant for speedy driving and has recently been yearning to try his hand on the circuits. Frustrated that football has thus far stopped him from fulfilling his ambitions, ol’ Hugo has taken matters into his own hands and begun training – respectfully – when it’s dark and quiet and when no one could be endangered by his antics.
Not only is Lloris a great sportsman, then, he’s a considerate fella as well. Good luck to him.
2) Pepe – MMA
Famous for his propensity for violence, Pepe has long attempted to find a solution to his on-pitch nastiness. Reports suggest that counseling and a week long stay at a resort in Bath did little to support the fella in his battle not to try and break people’s legs.
What he needs is release. If the Portuguese lad takes on fighting that has an actual end goal, he might find that his urges are restrained elsewhere. Still, even if it doesn’t work, we all know he’d do alright in the Octagon. You’ve seen him play.
3) Ashley Cole – Olympic shooting (50m Rifle)
With the likes of Cameron Jerome having been turned down for lacking the one relevant skill required, Ashley Cole is seen by most as the best option to take on this most thrilling of spectator sports.
Having taken a .22 calibre air rifle to training one day – who hasn’t? – Cole then accidentally shot a student on a work placement at Cobham training ground.
Though he argues he wasn’t aiming for the unsuspecting lad, Cole clearly knows what he’s doing with a gun in his hands and should turn the dangerous outbursts into something more productive and controlled. Perhaps putting interns in the place of bullseyes would help the former Chelsea star to gold.
4) Peter Crouch – high jump
Need we say more? The 6’6” Stoke City forward could step over those bars without giving it that weird contorted flip that the real pros waste time with. He’s been lost in football.
5) Thierry Henry – handball
We can’t resist a dig.