KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV is certainly enjoying his retirement from mixed martial arts – as he hones his skills on the football pitch.
The undefeated Russian has been taking part in several matches with his friends since hanging up his gloves last October.
WIN £50,000! Play Dream Team Euros – our FREE fantasy football game
And on Thursday morning, The Eagle shared a clip of one of his recent games with his 28million Instagram followers.
The film shows Nurmagomedov skinning an on-rushing opponent before sidefooting the ball into an empty net.
And the long-time Real Madrid fan celebrated the goal with Brazilian legend Ronaldo's trademark celebration, wagging his finger up and down as he ran past the camera.
The Dagestani destroyer's accompanying caption read: "Who remembers the Ronaldo of 2008, put on a bit of weight but still with firepower.
"[FC Legion Dynamo Makhachkala] I need motivation brothers."
Nurmagomedov's post soon came to the attention of Ronaldo, who was far from offended by the former MMA star's referencing of his weight gain.
EURO 2020 BETTING SPECIAL – GET £1 FREE BET FOR EVERY SHOT ON TARGET YOUR GOLDEN BOOT SELECTION HAS
The 2002 World Cup hero responded with a series of clapping emojis, a comment that received over 12,000 likes.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Clarence Seedorf also chimed in, commenting with clapping emojis of his own.
Nurmagomedov, 32, retired from MMA at the peak of his powers and with an unblemished record.
And the pride of Dagestan still has ambitions of playing football professionally.
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.
He added: "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.
"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."
Source: Read Full Article