After attending Barcelona versus PSG on Tuesday, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov shared a story of his childhood dreams of football, and said if Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Dagestan he could have been UFC champion.
Khabib is a huge football fan and has visited high-profile Champions League matches and was spotted at PSG’s Parc des Princes where he rubbed shoulders with World Cup winner Your Djorkaeff and icon David Beckham.
The Makhachkala, Dagestan, fighter’s latest match saw him take in a fine display by PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and who scored a hat-trick as the Frenchmen demolished Barca 4-1 in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.
After the match a dapper, suit-sporting Khabib posted a picture stood in front of an empty Camp Nou stadium, with a short story of his childhood love of football writing football names in his book, to how Cristiano Ronaldo may have become UFC champ had he been born in his native Dagestan.
“I’ve loved football since my childhood and always dreamed of becoming a footballer, but I was born in Dagestan and you know yourselves, what the priority is,” Khabib wrote.
“Who knows, maybe if Cristiano Ronaldo was born in Dagestan, he would have also become a UFC champion.
“I want to say that football is sport and I became a fighter by accident. I’m joking, not by accident.
“I will tell you sometime, about my own obsession with football in childhood and how sitting in class in 6th grade I wrote in my notebook 200 football names (there was no internet back then).
“I was pleased to be at this legendary stadium and see in real life such a battle.”
Hat-trick hero Mbappe signed and presented Khabib with his match shirt after the game, and the Real Madrid fan couldn’t resist taking a dig at Barca with the memento on Instagram.
“Congratulations on the hat-trick! Doubly nice it was against Barcelona,” he wrote, tagging Mbappe, with a picture of the jersey featuring the forward’s autograph and personalised message ‘To Khabib’.
He followed that up with a cheeky dig at Gerard Pique, with a picture of Barca defender desperately trying to grab Mbappe’s jersey as he races past him. “Leave the shirt, I already have it,” Khabib quipped.