Bolt shames Carragher with goal in charity game
Usain Bolt scored a fine goal in a UNICEF Soccer Aid charity match as his World XI side beat England on penalties after a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
The world's fastest failed in an attempt to become a professional football player after retiring from athletics in 2017, having an unsuccessful trial with Australian A-League team Central Coast Mariners, but after announcing that his "sports life is over" in January 2019, he has now showed people that he's still got a bit of life left on the pitch.
The 14th edition of Soccer Aid, played on Sunday at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home, pitted a selection of England players and personalities against a World XI captained by Bolt, and was notable for being the first to feature female players. Yet it was Bolt who stole the show with a well-taken goal before half-time.
I was off Twitter ! Embarrassing ! pic.twitter.com/kHpYuC96mb— Gary Neville (@GNev2) June 16, 2019
After former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher -- playing alongside John Terry at the back -- hesitated when trying to defend an awkwardly bouncing ball, his mis-timed header allowed Bolt to steal in on goal with the loose ball, before finishing with a powerful, left-footed drive beyond former England goalkeeper David Seaman.
Gary Neville, Carragher's colleague as a television pundit on Sky Sports, was quick to end his summer-long Twitter sabbatical to call out the error, posting a replay of the goal and saying: "I was off Twitter ! Embarrassing !"
Bolt's goal for the World XI, which saw the Jamaican line up alongside Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, looked to be in vain as England were on course to win for a sixth time as they held a 2-1 lead late in the match thanks to a pair of goals from F2 freestyler Jeremy Lynch. But up popped TV personality Kem Cetinay right before full-time to level matters and Bolt's team went on to win the match from the penalty spot.
Bolt first expressed a desire to play professional football in 2016, mentioning how he'd love to play for the club he supported, Manchester United.
Since then, the decorated Olympian has had trials and training sessions at several teams in a bid to realize his dream, including training with Norwegian side Stromsgodset in early 2018, a summer training spell with Borussia Dortmund, and Central Coast.
Bolt made just a handful of appearances, scoring twice in an Oct. 12 friendly against amateur side Macarthur South West United, before leaving the club in early November. He also turned down a two-year offer from Valletta in Malta.
And while Bolt's professional career never quite got on track, he and the rest of the stars of the match can take heart in knowing they helped raise over £6 million for the charity in Sunday's game.
Other former professionals to take part in the game for England were Michael Owen, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Jamie Redknapp, and female players Katie Chapman and Rachel Yankey.
Lining up for the Rest of the World were Eric Cantona, Robbie Keane, Michael Essien, Ricardo Carvalho, Roberto Carlos, Robert Pires and Brazil Women ex-internationals Franzinha and Rosana.