Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has said he prefers to watch boxing or the UFC over football in his spare time.
The 35-year-old is one of the most successful footballers ever with his tally of five Ballon d’Ors topped only by Lionel Messi, while his tally of five Champions League titles is the highest of any player in his current era.
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However, speaking to two-time world middleweight boxing champion Gennady Golovkin in the documentary “Parallel Worlds” for DAZN, he said he prefers combat sports.
“Playing football is my passion, but I prefer to watch other sports on TV,” said Ronaldo. “Between watching a football match or a boxing or UFC match, I choose boxing or UFC.”
Ronaldo added that his passion for boxing began while playing in England.
“When I was at Manchester United, a manager boxed with me,” added Ronaldo. “I think practicing boxing is useful for football because it sharpens your senses and you learn to move.”
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Ronaldo continued to produce incredible goal campaigns and scored 31 in Serie A last season.
He said he’s determined to fit in and not lose the physical attributes that made him one of the greatest footballers of all time – and used similar examples from other sports to explain how it is possible to continue performing later in life.
“Last summer, I had a chat with Anthony Joshua,” said Ronaldo. “At 33 you start thinking your legs are going.
“I want to stay in sport, in football. People will look at me and say:” Cristiano was an incredible player but now he’s slow. “
“You can change a lot about your body, but that’s not the problem. It depends on your mentality, your motivation and your experience, which I think is the most complex thing.
“In sport you can acquire maturity. Look [Roger] Federer in tennis. He’s 37 or 38 and he’s still in his prime, and there are some in boxing too. “