It is not secret that Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, is a diehard fan of 13-time English Premier League champions, Manchester United. Bolt has always expressed his love for the Red Devils and has visited Old Trafford as well as United's training complex in Carrington.
The Jamaican sprinter in a recent conversation with Yahoo Sport revealed how he began supporting Manchester United. Bolt said he was fascinated by United's prolific striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy. The Dutch striker played five seasons for United, from 2001 to 2006. In 159 appearances, Van Nistelrooy scored an impressive 95 goals.
“[Ruud] van Nistelrooy played for them. I was like, ‘I like this guy. He’s cool. He’s very good.’ And I just started supporting him,” Bolt revealed. However, Bolt does not recollect who Manchester United were playing the first time he watched them play, on TV.
Van Nistelrooy was one of the best strikers who played for the Red Devils, and it is easy to see why Bolt would have been attracted to the Dutchman's playing style. During the 2002/03 season, van Nistelrooy created a club record when he scored 44 goals in a single season. Following his incredible run of form, he was named as the Premier League player of the season in 2003 as well as being named the best striker in Europe by UEFA.
In the 2003/04 season, Van Nistelrooy also became the first player to score in 10 consecutive Premier League matches. It took 12 years to break the record when Jamie Vardy scored in 11 consecutive Premier League games during Leicester City's title-winning campaign last season.
Bolt also remarked how it could have been some other team he ended up supporting, instead of Man United, had van Nistelrooy been playing for some other team, or if Bolt had watched any other team's best striker.
“The funny part about it is that it could’ve been any team. It could’ve been Sunderland. It could’ve been Newcastle,” Bolt said.
Most recently, the 30-year-old became the first athlete to win the ‘triple triple’ – the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m Relay gold medals in each of the three Olympics (Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016) he has featured in.
Such is the love that Bolt has for Manchester United that he has time and again opened up about wanting to play for the Manchester-based club while giving up his athletics career. The love has been reciprocated by the Red Devils when they gave him his own shirts with his 100m World Record and 100 m Olympic Record on their backs.
One can only imagine how it would be if Manchester United had procured the services of the fastest man in the world. If Bolt had taken up football at an earlier age, who knows what would have ensued. A long cross-field pass from Paul Scholes to a sprinting Usain Bolt. Imagine that. If only.
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