Khabib Nurmagomedov has expressed his love for the game of football on multiple occasions. The lightweight champion has even hinted that he would probably have gone for a career in football if not for Mixed Martial Arts.
In a recent video uploaded by his coach Javier Mendes, Khabib Nurmagomedov can be seen giving his teammate Manel Kape a lesson in soccer. Khabib asked the UFC flyweight fighter to name the winner of the 2005 Champions League trophy, to which Manel Kape incorrectly replied, "Porto." Khabib Nurmagomedov then went on to list Champions League winners from 2005, while Javier Mendes filmed the video. Khabib accurately listed the winners as:
"2005- Liverpool, 2006- Barcelona, 2007- Milan, 2008- Manchester United, 2009- Barcelona, 2010- Internazionale, 2011- Barcelona, 2012- Chelsea, 2013- Bayern Munich, 2014- Real Madrid, 2015- Barcelona; 2016, 2017 and 2018- Real Madrid, 2019- Liverpool, 2020- Bayern Munich."
Manel Kape can be seen repeatedly protesting against coach Javier Mendes, saying that while he may not be well versed with facts and figures, he certainly has his moves reserved for the field. Khabib Nurmagomedov replied by stating that it is important for a player to have a sound knowledge of the game. Khabib said:
"If you don't know nothing about football, you don't know how to play. You have to understand the game. Please, Manel please. Coach listen, if you know nothing about the sport, how you know how to play the sport? It's impossible."
Khabib Nurmagomedov then went on to list the Golden Ball winners since 1995.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has always fancied a career in football
Since his retirement, Khabib Nurmagomedov has playfully insisted that he is interested in a career in professional football. After declaring himself a 'free agent' up for grabs, 'The Eagle' even received a contract from FC Kamaz who currently competes in the PFL, the third division of Russian Football.
In a recent interview, Khabib Nurmagomedov has even said that he would prefer football to MMA as the former doesn't have violence involved. Khabib told Esquire Middle East:
"That we have to hurt our rivals to show our superiority, this is the only thing that bothers me in this sport. In this regard, I really love football, because you can show by beauty how good an athlete you are."