Five sports stars who should follow Usain Bolt in switching to football

With the Jamaican apparently set to sign a pro deal with Central Coast Mariners, we look at which other sportspeople could benefit from a change of scenery...

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It seems as if former sprinter Usain Bolt is about to become a professional footballer at the age of 32, having been reportedly offered a contract at Central Coast Mariners. Despite not yet making a competitive appearance as a pro, he’s already in the process of being added to FIFA 19.

The whole thing is one-hundred-percent-not-a-publicity-stunt. No, sir. Totally legitimate. Not a publicity stunt. Definitely, definitely not a publicity stunt. A publicity stunt is, absolutely, conclusively NOT what this is.

To be fair to Bolt, though, he’s clearly serious about making it as a footballer. It’s a dream he’s been chasing for quite some time now, and he’s used his power and celebrity to ensure it becomes a reality. You can’t blame him for that – 99% of us would probably do the same.

Oh, and he also happens to be piss-quick, which helps. As does scoring a brace during a trial for the Mariners, of course.

All of which set us thinking, this isn’t the first time and likely won’t be the last time we see a high-profile athlete from another sport aiming to make the grade as a footballer. With that in mind, who from the wide world of sport do we believe has what it takes?

Conor McGregor – Mixed Martial Arts/Boxing

Let’s be honest: it looks as if The Notorious’ MMA career is on the ropes. Khabib Nurmagomedov despatched the Irishman with relative ease in his most recent fight, meaning McGregor has now lost three of his last five fights if you include his brief sojourn into the world of boxing.

On which topic, May-Mac in itself proves McGregor is open to switching things up, but recent footage of his attempt to throw a handegg at the Dallas Cowboys stadium indicates that his future does not lie in the NFL:

Which brings us to football. Rumour has it that McGregor was a handy enough player back in the day in Dublin, something perhaps evidenced by the below video:

The only question is where he would go. McGregor’s bezzie mate Vlad Putin is a fan of Zenit, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him pitching up in St Petersburg with a pint of Gazprom in one hand and a two-year contract in the other. You’d have to believe the Proper Twelve would fly off the shelves in Russia as a result.

Tom Brady – American Football

Brady may be 41, but we reckon Husband Of Gisele could still do a job in nets for a mid-level Premier League outfit.

He’s got hands the size of continental plates and a physique that would put most professional keepers to shame.

Okay, his movement and agility aren’t so great any more, but when you’re used to being hunted down and rammed in the guts by 6’5, 18-stone defensive linemen, coming for a cross in a crowded penalty box can’t be all that intimidating a prospect.

Oh, and there’s also that throw. What a weapon that would be on the counter-attack. He’d be a shoe-in for whatever award they give for Most Assists in a season (the Most Assists in a Season Award, presumably).

LeBron James – Basketball

NBA? Completed it, mate.

There’s nothing left for LeBron in basketball. He’s done it all. It’s time to move on – as Zlatan recently pointed out self-reverentially, ‘there’s only one God in LA.’

Besides, it’s not as if LeBron would be setting a precedent for a basketballist. The man with whom he is most commonly compared, Michael Jordan, made a switch from basketball to baseball a few years back, but we wouldn’t advise James to do the same. Because, in case you hadn’t noticed, baseball is an utter load of sh*te.

Anyway, we’re pretty certain that LeBron could turn his hand (er, so to speak) to football. If you can lob a big ball into a very small net, you can probably kick a small ball into a very big net.

Phil Mickelson – Golf

Honestly, we just want to see him run.

Actually, we just want to see if he can run.

Half-times would certainly be a treat. Whatever club the man occasionally and cruelly known as ‘Phat Phil’ ends up playing for, the oranges and jaffa cakes would soon be replaced by Big Macs and boxes of Krispy Kreme Original Dozen.

Vincent Janssen – Unknown, possibly swimming

Rumour has it that this guy used to be a footballer, but we’re yet to see any conclusive proof of that.

Janssen’s mother was a world champion swimmer, so we can only assume he spends much of his time doing lengths of the pool in the Finchley Lido Leisure Centre.

Still, whatever Vince is up to these days, it’d be nice to see him give football a go.

find the latest football odds over at paddypower.com