The name Khabib Nurmagomedov certainly sounds familiar even to those not actively following mixed martial arts. He retired unbeaten earlier this year, disappointing hordes of MMA betting fans who were hoping to continue winning with his help. Soon, in turn, soccer betting fans might also get familiar with his name: this year, he signed a contract with FC Legion Dynamo, a soccer team from Makhachkala, Russia, where he’ll play in a yet unrevealed position.
Khabib is admittedly a soccer fan. He is especially fond of Real Madrid but also has his preferred English team – Manchester United, from the looks of it. Last week, he visited Old Trafford, met with Sir Alex Ferguson, and got into an awkward and hilarious situation in the process.
Visiting Old Trafford
Khabib has been an avid football fan since an early age, a passion that he has his father to thank for. “When I was growing up, my father would always watch the match,” he told Manutd.com. “I remember during Euro 1996 there was a match between England and Germany, and England lost on penalties that day. Following that, I watched Germany versus the Czech Republic and then that led into the World Cups”.
Khabib was a guest at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United in Greater Manchester, England, for the club’s Premier League match against Everton. During his visit, he spoke to two of his idols, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba in the buildup of the game. He later revealed that speaking with the two was an interesting experience – athlete to athlete, champion to champion, that is. “Yeah, we spoke a little and we discussed today’s match,” he said. “It was interesting for me to talk to them and compare things with them.”
His visit at Old Trafford was great – except for a moment that was a bit awkward… and turned out to be hilarious. A faithful Muslim, Khabib can’t consume any alcohol. In the post-match, though, when he was greeted by the likes of Usain Bolt, Patrice Evra, and Sir Alex Ferguson, the latter offered him a glass of wine. Khabib defused the situation with a hilarious response.
“He [Ferguson] asked me if I wanted a glass of wine. I’m thinking, how do I explain to him I’m a Muslim?” he told the press. “So I said, drinking is not good for me because if I do then I will smash all of you guys up.”
“He replied, ‘OK, best if you don’t drink.’”