Usain Bolt may have aspirations of becoming a footballer, but Barcelona legend Xavi says the Jamaican “will never make any difference” away from the track.
A man who enjoyed dominance in the world of sprinting, claiming eight Olympic gold medals, has expressed a desire to try his luck in a different field.
He may be 31 years of age, but the Manchester United fan has never made any secret of his love for football.
Borussia Dortmund are preparing to hand him a trial, while Bolt will be part of the 2018 Soccer Aid fixture, but Xavi believes it will be impossible for an athletics icon to switch sporting codes.
The World Cup winner told So Foot: “What makes the difference today in football? It's talent. And what is talent? It is the possibility of controlling what you do and what others do, because you play with your head and not only with your feet.
“I love Usain Bolt, he's a great athlete. Physically, nobody comes close. Who runs faster than him? No one. But with all due respect to him, he will never make any difference on a football pitch.”
Pressed further on why Bolt would be wrong for football, Xavi added: “Because we cannot supplant mental speed and game intelligence with physical abilities. It's impossible.”
Bolt’s opportunity may well have passed him by, with a lack of experience set to work against him.
The likes of Xavi have dedicated their lives to perfecting the art of football, with an all-time great midfielder revealing that he has never stopped learning on the training field.
He said: “l, personally, always had the will, I would even say the curiosity, to understand what is happening on the pitch. Why? How? Where? These are questions I would constantly ask myself and will continue to do when I become a coach.
“We do not all have the same thoughts. There are professional players who do not understand what is happening on the pitch. Simply because they weren't trained to develop their talent, to think about what's happening with them.”