Conor McGregor praised ‘inspiring’ Cristiano Ronaldo, saying: ‘We are both disciplined athletes at the top of our game’

Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor.

caption
Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor.
source
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage

  • Cristiano Ronaldo inspires Conor McGregor.
  • The UFC fighter marveled at the way the Juventus striker pulled his team back from the brink of defeat against Atletico Madrid, to eliminate the Spanish side by scoring all three goals in the 3-2 aggregate win last week.
  • McGregor said the victory will have been made even sweeter because Atletico is “one of the best defensive sides in Europe.”
  • Read all of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 soccer season right here.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been praised by UFC fighter Conor McGregor for the way he scored a hat trick for Juventus when the “pressure was on for all the marbles” in the UEFA Champions League last week.

The Juventus striker met McGregor at Jennifer Lopez’s birthday party in Nobu Villa Atop Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas in July 2016.

They liked each other so much Ronaldo turned up at an MMA gym to work out with the Irishman weeks later. McGregor even posted a photograph of them, shirtless and sweaty, on his Instagram account and called Ronaldo an “animal” in the caption.

Read more: Anthony Joshua has been accused of ‘trivializing’ rape after saying Cristiano Ronaldo is a hero because he’s been ‘f—–‘ by women but is still smiling

In an interview with FIFA on Tuesday, McGregor elaborated on what he likes about the soccer player. “Cristiano is a phenomenal athlete, person, and entrepreneur,” he said. “His all-around discipline, perfectionist attitude, and dedication to his craft is inspiring and has inspired so many young children to play football.”

Ronaldo was in the headlines recently for the way he brought Juventus back from the brink of defeat in a stunning Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.

Juve was 2-0 down in the first leg of its Round of 16 clash against Atletico in February, but with Ronaldo on the team it bounced back last week, won 3-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate. Juventus eliminated Atletico because of Ronaldo’s heroics, and it is now in the quarter-final against Ajax.

Read more: Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly brought Juventus back from the brink of defeat in stunning Champions League win over Atletico Madrid

“Just look what he did recently in the Champions League, at 34 years young, a hat-trick under the lights when the pressure was on for all the marbles. And against Atletico Madrid, one of the best defensive sides in Europe.

“That is inspiring! We are both disciplined athletes at the top of our game.”

Juventus is not in action until later in the month when it hosts Empoli in a Serie A match on March 30. McGregor, meanwhile, is free to fight from April 6 once he has served a Nevada State Athletic Commission suspension for the role he played in the post-fight brawls that marred his UFC 229 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.

It is not yet clear who McGregor will fight in his return to the UFC Octagon.