Grenada’s Olympic 400m champion Kirani James talks to SPIKES about his passion for football, and explains why caring Grenadians won’t let him play.

"I’m a big soccer fan, and I follow the games every weekend whether that is the English Premier League, or the Spanish football.

"I’m a huge Barcelona fan. I support them not just because of the team, but because they are an institution. What they stand for is much more than a club.

"They are a very humane club, and have a lot going on outside of the football. I’ve never been to their home stadium, the Nou Camp, but it is definitely on my bucket list of things to do.

"I admire lots of footballers, but probably my favourite player is Andres Iniesta [the Spain and Barcelona midfielder]. He has such a simple, but effective game."

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Kirani’s favourite: Andres Iniesta of Barcelona (right) evades the challenge of a defender

"If I was a soccer player I’d be a central defender. I’d probably be in the style of someone like Per Mertesacker [the Arsenal and Germany central defender].

"I played a bit of football for fun but never competitively during my time at secondary school. I was too busy devoting my time to track and field.

"I think even if the people of Grenada had seen me playing they wouldn’t have allowed me to because they’d want me to concentrate on running and not get injured. The people of Grenada are caring like that."