Former Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, the best sprinter in history and eight times Olympic champion, said on Wednesday that he is happy to be considered a sports legend like the Argentine Diego Maradona, the Brazilian Édson Arantes do Nascimento "Pelé" or the American boxer Muhammad Ali.
“There are many legends of the sport. I always dreamed of being named next to great champions like Maradona, Pelé, Muhammad Ali and other glories of this level. I cannot name one (as the greatest ever), there are many, "Bolt said in an interview published this Wednesday by the Italian newspaper" La Gazzetta dello Sport. "
“I am happy to be considered among these sports legends,” continued the Jamaican, the fastest man in the world when running the 100 meter sprint (9.58 seconds and the 200 meters (19.19).
Bolt acknowledged that he realized he had the potential to become one of the greatest athletes in history at the 2008 Beijing Games, following his first gold medal.
“I started to understand it in 2008 in Beijing, after winning my first Games. In that case my coach told me 'Usain, if you work hard you will become one of the best ever. If you keep training you will be one of the best in the world, 'and he was right, ”he said.
He also acknowledged that he would like to accompany, although as a simple fan, the Jamaican team in the next Tokyo Games.
“I would like it very much, although it depends on what happens in the next few months. I would like to go to Japan so, if the Games are confirmed, as I hope, I will do everything to go, because I would love to be in the stands as a fan, "he said.
"I lived the last editions on the track, now I would like to understand what it feels like to see others run," he concluded.
A great football fan, Bolt chose the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus forward, before the Argentine Lionel Messi, of Barcelona, as his favorite player.
“It is difficult to choose because I like the Argentine team, but I also appreciate Cristiano since he played for Manchester United, of which I am a fan. I think Cristiano has something more because he showed his value in Italy, Spain and England ”, he said.
“Personally, Cristiano would say. And there are very interesting young people, like (the French, Kylian) Mbappé, who is growing a lot ”, he added.