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
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"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.

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