Spectators numbering 1400 were present at an open training session on Friday to offer global superstar Usain Bolt as heartfelt a welcome as they had the BVB senior team players the day before. "They're cool guys. We had fun, had a laugh and took some photos", said the eight time Olympic sprint winner of his time with Reus et al. Peter Stöger spoke highly of the fastest man in the world after two training sessions: "You can see that he understands the game."


After Thursday's training session, which had deliberately been kept behind closed doors and during which the 31-year-old Jamaican asked for some serious expertise from Borussia Dortmund's training team, the 1400 visitors in and next to the stand in the Brackel Youth Stadium applauded each and every successful move. There was great jubilation when the 1.95m tall man found the back of the net with a header. "That's something that I have practised again and again over the years", he said later surrounded by myriad media representatives. There were 140 journalists present, 25 camera teams and 30 photographers. The only continent not represented was Australia. And Bolt repeatedly emphasised the seriousness of his cause while wiping the sweat from his brow: "It was a good experience for me. I was here to learn from the boys."

He was extremely concentrated during the second, approximately 60-minute-long session. The fun and laughter was left behind in the changing room, and only returned as he obliged fans with autograph signings before subsequently appearing before the cameras. "I wanted to give my all and move a lot to give the boys the opportunity to play the ball to me." His favourite position? "I like to play on the wing."

"Usain is an unbelievably laid-back guy", said Peter Stöger of both days, and remarked, clearly impressed: "A sportsman of this stature: totally down-to-earth. It was an honour for us to work with him and to get to know him as a person!" When asked about Bolt's footballing prowess, the Austrian commented: "It was his dream to have the opportunity to train with a top team at a high level. It was a great experience for all involved. He had fun participating and put in a good performance. I think he is talented. If he wanted to make it at a higher level, he would have quite a bit to do, since the physique required for his discipline is totally different from that required for football."
Boris Rupert