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Conor McGregor was an amateur footballer and has massive respect for Cristiano Ronaldo

1.60K   //    26 Aug 2017, 18:57 IST

Floyd Mayweather Jr. v Conor McGregor - Weigh-in

Conor McGregor

What's the story?

Back in 2015, an interesting video of Conor McGregor emerged where he was seen juggling a football with relative ease. This came as a surprise to a large section of the audience who weren't aware of his footballing background.

In fact, prior to his stint in MMA, Conor was an amateur footballer who plied his trade for Slievenamon United and Yellowstone Celtic - two teams that were part of the United Churches League and Leinster Football League respectively.

At 1.75 meters high, Conor isn't the tallest of athletes around but he operated as a striker at both these clubs and according to his coach, Robbie Beakhurst at Slievenamon United, McGregor was a ruthless striker who could have easily climbed his way up the footballing world if he hadn't been an MMA fighter.

“He played for me with a club called Slievenamon United when we played in the UCFL. He was a striker and was our top scorer every year," his coach, Beakhurst told The JSP. 

“He used to just say to the rest of team ‘just give me the ball and I’ll do the rest’ – he was a smashing player but we had a decent team. As he got more involved in the MMA he couldn’t make matches and we allowed him to skip training," his former coach added,

In case you didn't know...

The self-proclaimed goal machine though ultimately decided to take up fighting rather than football and he couldn't complain based on his massive success.

In 2014, Conor made it clear on Twitter that he does not support Premier League club, Chelsea after he was posed a question on the social media app. McGregor revealed that he was never an avid fan of the game and was always interested in playing the sport rather than watching it.

The heart of the matter

Conor seems to be one of those fans who support different teams every new day based on his mood. But if pushed to a corner, he conceded it would be Manchester United as his family has been supporting the club for many generations.

But in a video that went viral on social media, Conor expressed his admiration for Liverpool as well - "I'm a Red... f**k Everton, yeah!" said the champion from Dublin.

But it's no secret that Conor has massive respect for Real Madrid superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo. The both of them met last year at McGregor's training facility and ever since have been in touch with each other.

The MMA superstar has come to respect the four-time Ballon d'Or winner and has been impressed by his athletic abilities - especially his speed, his takeoff from a standing start and ability to operate at those high speeds.

What's next?

On August 26th 2017, Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are slated to face off in the biggest fight in sporting history. While the fight purse is expected to be in the region of close to $400 million, the total revenue that can possibly be made from this mega fight could easily exceed $500 million.

The Irish MMA superstar who is usually at ease inside the pentagon will be put to the ultimate test against Mayweather inside the ring.

Author's take

Given his physique and the pace he displays inside the pentagon, it's not hard to fathom that Conor was once a footballer. When he face's Mayweather on the 26th, he will not be permitted to use his legs though. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the new boxing rules for the first time.

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