Usain Bolt compared to 'Mayweather, Jordan, Ali' ahead of Central Coast Mariners debut
The captain of the team facing Usain Bolt on his Central Coast Mariners debut has described the Olympic sprint champion as "greatness personified," comparing him to Floyd Mayweather, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
Matt Page will captain an amateur select side on Friday as they test Bolt's hopes of winning a professional football contract in the Australian top flight.
The preseason match will be televised live by a local broadcaster and could draw over 12,000 fans to the Mariners' home stadium, with Bolt expected to make at least a cameo appearance.
"Everyone's buzzing. Most of the guys wouldn't have played in front of a big crowd like this before, myself included," 34-year-old Page told Reuters.
"Obviously playing against the big fellow, you know, it'll be interesting to see how that goes.
"If he wants to make it at this level, no one's going to take it easy on him. I don't envisage any of the boys pulling out [of a tackle]. But I don't think anyone will be dirty, either. It'll be a really good-natured game.
"He's greatness personified. He's Mayweather, Michael Jordan, Ali. It's similar to Michael Jordan with the baseball. If anyone deserves an opportunity, it's someone that knows what it takes to get to the very top of their field."
Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt, who had his first training session with the A-league team only a week ago, said he expected to feel "nerves" at the match.
Marking Bolt, who has trained as a left winger, could be a challenge -- but the amateurs' coach Chris Ackerley said right-back Bryce Fielder, from local champions Killarney District FC, was the man for the job.
"I think Usain Bolt will know he's been in a game, especially if he gets a few tackles in on him, because Bryce has got tree-trunk thighs," Ackerley said.