Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo: Football is my passion, but I prefer to watch UFC

The Juventus superstar is one of the most successful and recognisable players in the world, but that doesn't make him an avid viewer

7:16pm on Wednesday 16th December 2020
James Shearman

Cristiano Ronaldo has said that while football is his passion and his first love, when it comes to watching sport on TV, he will always chose boxing or UFC.

The Portuguese superstar may have reached the pinnacle of his sport, winning multiple Ballon d'Or trophies Champions Leagues, and the European Championship.

However, even though he describes football as his passion, that passion doesn't necessarily transfer into watching other people play the sport.

Speaking to middleweight world champion boxer Gennady Golovkin in the documentary Parallel Worlds for DAZN, the Juventus forward admitted he enjoys combat sports and, given the opportunity, would rather spend his time watching those than watching more of the sport of his profession.

He said: "Playing football is my passion, but I prefer watching other sports on TV.

"Between watching a football match or a boxing or UFC fight, I choose boxing or UFC."

Ronaldo has been interested in boxing since his days playing in England when he featured for Manchester Utd in the Premier League, and there, he was able to do some sparring.

"When I was at Manchester United, a coach boxed with me," he added.

"I think practicing boxing is useful for football because it sharpens your senses and you learn to move."

The 35-year-old is determined not to lose the physical attributes which helped him reach the pinnacle of the sport and referred to other sports as evidence of maintaining high performance while entering the twilight years.

35 yrs - F (CL) - Juventus
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
Played matches
Shots P90
Shots On target P90
Duels won P90
Final third passes P90

"Last summer, I had a chat with Anthony Joshua," Ronaldo revealed. "At 33 you start to think 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.' I don't want that.

"You can change a lot about your body, but the problem isn't that. It depends on your mindset, your motivation and your experience, which I think is the most complex thing.

"In sport, you can gain maturity. Look at [Roger] Federer in tennis. He's 37 or 38 years old and he's still at his peak, and there are some in boxing too."

Ronaldo recently recovered from a positive coronavirus test to get back bagging goals for Juventus in Serie A and the Champions League.

Latest news

Predicted XI

De Bruyne and Hazard to make first start – How Belgium could line up against Finland

De Bruyne and Hazard both came off the bench against Denmark but could start Belgium’s final group game.

  • 15 minutes
Predicted XI

Changes from De Boer - How the Netherlands could line up against North Macedonia

The Netherlands have already secured top spot in Euro 2020 Group C so Frank de Boer may rest some of his players

  • 15 minutes
Player Ratings

Italy 1-0 Wales Player Ratings: Verratti runs the show & Bale struggles as hosts top Group A

Roberto Mancini's side were already assured of a place in the last 16 but they made it three wins out of three with a narrow triumph.

  • 15 hours
Player Ratings

Spain 1-1 Poland Player Ratings: Morata strikes as La Roja struggle

The Juventus striker netted the opening goal but missed a golden chance to seal three points as Spain are held to a draw.

  • 1 day
Player Ratings

Portugal 2-4 Germany Player Ratings: Ronaldo shines despite inspired comeback from Havertz & Co.

Jogi Low's Germany side have moved into second place in Group F after an important 4-2 victory over Portugal in Euro 2020

  • 1 day
Player Ratings

Hungary 1-1 France Player Ratings: Pogba disappoints as World champions are held to a draw in Budapest

Didier Deschamps's side conceded their first goal and points in six games as Hungary overcame the odds to draw 1-1 with the World champions

  • 1 day

Most read