Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo has said he prefers to watch boxing or UFC instead of football during his spare time.
The 35-year-old is one of the most successful footballers ever with his award of five Ballon d’Or awards enhanced only by Lionel Messi, while his count of five Champions League titles is the greatest of all players in his current era.
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However, speaking to two-time middleweight world 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,” Ronaldo said. “Between watching a football game or boxing or a UFC fight, I choose boxing or UFC.”
Ronaldo added that his passion for boxing began while playing in England.
“When I was at Manchester United, a coach boxed with me,” Ronaldo added. “I think practicing boxing is good for football because it sharpens your feelings and you learn to move.”
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Ronaldo continued to produce incredible goal scoring campaigns and reached 31 in Serie A last season.
He said he aims to adapt and not lose the physical attributes that have become one of the greatest footballers of all time – and used similar examples from other sports to explain how it is possible to continue to perform later in life.
“Last summer, I chatted with Anthony Joshua,” Ronaldo said. “At 33 you start to think your legs are going.
“I want to stay in sports, 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 your body a lot, 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 sports, you can mature. Look [Roger] Federer in tennis. He’s 37 or 38 years old and he’s still at his best, and some are boxing too. “