If Akinfenwa Could Do It, Usain Bolt Can.
Nicknamed 'The Beast', Adebayo Akinfenwa is a 36-year-old English footballer whose popularity was not earned because of typical soccer traits such as the blistering pace of Mo Salah, the nimble footwork of Messi, or the sublime finishing of Harry Kane.
As a footballer, his unconventional sturdy, and muscular physique has attracted a lot of attention throughout his career.
At 5ft 11inches and weighing in at about 102 kg, he is someone who has broken barriers to be a regular player for his club, Wycombe Wanderers, an English League Two team that was recently promoted to League One for the 2018/19 season.
Undeterred by naysayers and the discouraging statement he usually hears about 'being too big to play football', the Wycombe striker converted this negative energy to work on his game.
He managed a decent goal tally of 18 goals last season, which earned him a nomination for League Two’s player of the year.
In addition to his determination on the pitch, he has capitalised on his fame by engaging in a lot of off-pitch activities such as acting, and other social media endeavours.
With Akinfenwa breaking barriers, this brings me to the barrier Usain Bolt wants to break. The eight-time Olympic Champion stunned the world by announcing his decision to pursue professional soccer after his retirement from sprinting at the World Championships in London in 2017.
However, the 32-year-old former Jamaican sprinter was ridiculed in the media for making a shambolic attempt to meander his way into the world of soccer.
My problem with these naysayers is that, they are comparing him to well-established soccer players who have plied their trade for several years. That is just unfair! Why not compare him to lesser-known talent to reduce the benchmark for his performance?
Indeed, the fact that he was a champion in his former sporting discipline certainly does not mean he can replicate the same performances after switching his sport.
However, when you look at some of the very simple goals Akinfenwa has scored in his career (see video below), can you say Usain Bolt has no place in football?
At 6ft 5 inches tall and weighing in at about 94kg, in addition to his constant athletic training during his medal-laden sprinting career, I believe Bolt can do something meaningful in professional football.
Even though he did not really impress at his try-outs with Borussia Dortmund in March 2018, his 'indefinite training period' with the Australian team, Central Coast Mariners, can give him the much-needed boost to propel his soccer career.
If Akinfenwa with a body-builder physique could play football, it does not seem far-fetched for Usain Bolt to make an attempt at professional soccer with his athletic physique and athletic abilities. Pessimists should give him a chance.
But what do you think? Is he just wasting his time? Is there an iota of hope?
This 2-minute video of Akinfenwa's goals show that Bolt would not need to do much to get a place in a team.
Credit: Alfie BFC Kuy