UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has discussed a shock move into the footy world with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-German president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
The undefeated Russian is currently enjoying his retirement from mixed martial arts, which he announced after beating Justin Gaethje last October at UFC 254.
Nurmagomedov, 32, has been spending some of his free time on the footy pitch with his friends and recently paid a visit to Spartak Moscow's training ground.
And the Dagestani destroyer admits playing the beautiful game professionally would be a 'dream' come true.
He told Match TV: “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 Aleskandr Ceferin, with the owner of PSG, yes and even with Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Boyhood Real Madrid supporter Nurmagomedov became a huge Ronaldo fan during the Portuguese's nine-year stint at the Bernabeu.
And he'd love to follow in the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's footsteps by playing for the Spanish champions.
BET OF THE DAY: GET THE BEST FOOTBALL PRICES ON THE MARKET WITH OUR EXPERT ADVICE
He said: "Spartak of course are great, but that’s domestic level. My dream club is Real Madrid.
"In fact the first match I remember watching the full 90 minutes, was Real vs Juventus in 1998 [Champions League final].
"I remember Mijatovic scored from an offside position, but we still won."
Last year, Nurmagomedov revealed he prefers football to MMA, telling UFC Russia: "For me, football is the number one sport.
"When I was a child, I dreamed of being a football player and I have always watched football.
A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov)
"In a way, football is better [than mixed martial arts], you don't have to fight or smash somebody – you just go onto grass and show everyone what you are capable of doing professionally.
"Of course, it is hard but I like it more, more than UFC, more than MMA."
Nurmagomedov's future looks set to lie away from the octagon, despite Russia's first UFC champion recently hinting he could compete again.
He said: “I’m focused on my own big projects, four or five of them. I have to spend time on them.
"As for my career as a fighter, I don’t want to go into details. Dana’s an honest person, we always had an honest relationship.
"I think he’ll let the media know the message that I sent him a week ago.
"It’s not a secret, I just told him how I’d like things to develop, not only related to me, but the lightweight division in general. I told (Dana) I don’t want the division to be held up.
"But on the other hand, fighters have only just been in action and people already understand in general who we’ll see fighting for the title.”
Source: Read Full Article