Jamaican sprinter and Olympic great Usain Bolt has traded his spiked shoes for football boots, announcing that he will be joining and captaining the Soccer Aid World XI team.
The team, made up of former football legends and other celebrities, will come together in a charity game for Soccer Aid for Unicef.
The big story, though, is perhaps not the team he joined, but the team he could have joined – speculation ran riot on Monday, when Bolt announced on Twitter that he would be "joining a football team".
Worldwide media – including CNN, Fox Sports and Sky News – all pointed fingers at South African side Mamelodi Sundowns, because Bolt was spending a few days visiting and training with the team while in SA on a promotional tour for his sponsors, Puma. His reference to joining a football team, many felt, obviously related to his trip.
The former African champions took ownership of the rumours and added fuel to the fire, by hinting that Bolt might indeed join the Tshwane side – cheekily tweeting: "Football will never be the same" accompanied by a picture of Bolt.
South African Twitter predictably lit up at the prospect of Bolt playing in South Africa, but he had us all catfished.
Mamelodi Sundowns have had everyone on toast #Bolt— Callum Dent (@cdent31) February 27, 2018
The rumours look more like a very clever PR move by Sundowns or Puma – because the whole world was suddenly talking about Bolt in South Africa, and asking who Mamelodi Sundowns were.
Mamelodi Sundowns successfully managed to get their name plastered around news outlets all over the world with Usain Bolt...— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) February 27, 2018
Their PR stunt worked, thousands of people who didn't know @Masandawana yesterday, know them today.
Bolt, an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, has made no secret of his admiration of football, saying he has always wanted to be a professional – and now he'll get the chance to prove himself against former pros (and Robbie Williams) in a charity format.
South African Twitter in the end was quite appreciative of the PR move – especially Sundowns fans.
Our marketing team did the most, kudus to them #Bolt 👏👏👏👏😂😂— Gaopalelwe™ (@Gaopalelwe08) February 27, 2018
BOLT FOR @SOUTHAFRICA! @usainbolt set to sign for @officialpsl leaders @masandawana according to @SkySportsNews... "a lower level than @manutd or @BVB" @puma @PUMASouthAfrica pic.twitter.com/0qq7VmW6hm— Neal Collins (@nealcol) February 27, 2018
For those who thought Bolt signing stunt was PR coup for Sundowns consider this: what does it say about the perception of our football, league and top clubs that everyone so readily believed Bolt could play here. For me, a demeaning day.— Mark Gleeson (@markgleesonfoot) February 27, 2018
Bolt ain't gonna play for Sundowns relax— Lennox Bacela (@lennoxbacela) February 27, 2018
Sundowns' PR team are on point. They didn't sign Bolt, but they managed to get their name around the world with a single tweet. Crazy.— Lunga Biyela (@KingBiyela) February 27, 2018
👀 Usain Bolt appears to have found a soccer team!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 26, 2018
Mamelodi Sundowns are currently 🔝 of the South African Premier League. pic.twitter.com/l78IJ0f1ad
Mamelodi Sundowns will not be signing Usain Bolt. Breathe easily now.— Shai (@Shaistah_K) February 27, 2018