UFC legend Khabib visits Old Trafford
UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov was at Old Trafford on Saturday as Manchester United's Premier League bout with Everton ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw.
The 33-year-old Russian, who retired from the mixed martial arts competition with an unbeaten record earlier this year, owes his interest in the beautiful game to his father's obsession.
"I'll be honest, I’m not a sole Manchester United fan, I’m more of a fan of all football," admitted the longest-reigning UFC lightweight champion.
"When I was growing up, my father would always watch the match. I remember during Euro 1996 there was a match between England and Germany, and England lost on penalties that day. Following that I watched Germany versus Czech Republic and then that led into the World Cups,’’ added Khabib.
Beginning wrestling at a young age, Nurmagomedov was coached by his father in his native Dagestan. He competed within the UFC from 2012 to 2020 and famously battled with Irish star Conor McGregor in 2018.
Speaking to club media reporter Zarah Connolly before kick-off, Khabib revealed he had spoken to Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba in the build-up to the game.
"Yeah, we spoke a little and we discussed today's match, but they told me they’re going to be on the bench!
"With Paul being a World Cup winner and Cristiano a European Championship winner, they have won a lot of titles. Ronaldo, especially, has won a lot of Champions Leagues and it was interesting for me to talk to them and compare things with them."
Khabib predicted a 2-1 victory for United but added, "We will see, I guess nobody knows!"