Jamaican national football team manager, Winfried Schafer is doing his best to rebuild the Reggae Boyz into a formidable force in CONCACAF; from high-profile friendlies against 2014 World Cup participants to investing his faith in the youth setup.
And, if he has his way, he also plans to turn Usain Bolt into the world’s fastest footballer, as Schafer wants the six-time Olympic gold medal winning sprinter on his team.
Bolt, a fan of reigning English Premier League champions, Manchester United, has previously stated his ambitions to play and according to Schafer, he hopes to capitalize on that desire by one day offering the legendary sprinter a call-up to the squad.
"In the German newspaper, I read about Usain Bolt saying he wants to play football and he wants to play in Manchester,” Schafer told the Sunday Gleaner. “He's a Jamaican and I want him to be on our team.”
"I heard from Puma, the Puma boss, (Bjorn Gulden, CEO). He said he (Bolt) played many times on the small team and he's not bad,” he continued. "But we can make him better. When he has good training with our team here in Jamaica, we can make him a very good player. He's very fast, that's clear, but when he learns with the ball then he'll be one of the best players.”
"This is our goal. Maybe after the Olympics in Brazil (2016), I want to see him here in our training; that is what I want to tell him.”
Bolt has played several charity games and scrimmages in Jamaica, and was invited by former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson to train with the club in 2012. He was even due to play in a testimonial match for long-time central defender, Rio Ferdinand last August vs. La Liga side, Sevilla. However, he pulled out due to his participation the IAAF World Championships in Moscow that same month.
Bolt himself is not averse to the possibility, tweeting, "Well my motto is, 'Anything is possible I don't think limits.'"
Schafer says the marketing appeal Bolt would bring to the national football team would help gauge strong interest
"He's a hero here in Jamaica and I think when he learns how to play with the ball and know what he has to do he'll be much better,” Schafer told the Gleaner. “Football is easy and I know he played many times in joke match or match for charity. But when he plays professional and I'm his coach, we can make him very good; maybe the best player for counter-attack, nobody can stop him.”
“The marketing would be the best for Jamaica when he comes into our team. The stadium would be full, we can go in all stadiums in the world and everybody would come ... and this will provide motivation for our young players.”