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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

Khabib Nurmagomedov: I've talked to my friend Cristiano Ronaldo about becoming a professional footballer

'It's a childhood dream. Football is the king of sports, after all' says retired UFC star

Khabib Nurmagomedov dreams of becoming a footballer. Courtesy UFC
Khabib Nurmagomedov dreams of becoming a footballer. Courtesy UFC

Apparently retired for good from mixed martial arts, Khabib Nurmagomedov dreams of becoming a professional footballer, and has even spoken about it with “good friend” Cristiano Ronaldo.

The current UFC lightweight champion has been busy following his decision to call time on his unbeaten career last October, launching his Eagle Fighting Championship and working on a number of business ventures.

Nurmagomedov, 32, has still found time for his other great love, though, with footage emerging last month of a football kickabout during some downtime in Dubai. Among those taking to the pitch alongside him was former Real Madrid and Netherlands star Clarence Seedorf.

On the back of that video, which soon went viral, Russian third-tier side FC Kamaz playfully offered Nurmagomedov a contract.

Speaking this week in an interview with Match TV in Russia, Nurmagomedov said: “To play football on a professional level is a childhood dream. Of course, I have such a wish. Football is the king of sports, after all.

“Who haven’t I discussed this with? I’ve spoken even with the Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin, with the owner of [Paris Saint-Germain], yes and even with Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Nurmagomedov and Ronaldo have long been friends having met multiple times in Dubai. The Dagestani fighter, a regular visitor to the UAE, also spent time recently in the emirate with Virgil van Dijk, where the Liverpool defender has been recovering from injury at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.

However, Nurmagomedov reiterated that his affiliation is to another high-profile club.

“Spartak [Moscow] of course are great, but that’s domestic level. My dream club is Real Madrid,” he told Match TV. “In fact, the first match I remember watching the full 90 minutes, was Real versus Juventus in 1998 [Champions League final]. I remember [Predrag] Mijatovic scored from an offside position, but we still won.”

Khabib's last fight

Updated: February 11, 2021 11:55 AM

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