Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo said he prefers boxing or UFC to football in his spare time.
The 35-year-old is one of the most successful footballers of all time. He has received five Ballon d’Or awards, second only to Lionel Messi, and his five Champions League titles are the most of any player in his day.
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In an interview with the two-time world middleweight boxing champion, Gennady Golovkin, in the documentary “Parallel Worlds” for DAZN, however, he said he preferred martial arts.
“Playing soccer is my passion, but I prefer to watch other sports on TV,” said Ronaldo. “Between a soccer game or a boxing or UFC fight, I choose boxing or UFC.”
Ronaldo added that his passion for boxing began in England.
“When I was at Manchester United, a coach boxed with me,” added Ronaldo. “I think boxing is useful in football because it sharpens your senses and you learn to move.”
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Ronaldo has continued to run incredible scoring campaigns, scoring 31 goals in Serie A last season.
He said he was determined to adjust and not lose the physical characteristics that made one of the greatest footballers of all time – and explained how it is possible to keep playing later in life, using similar examples from other sports.
“I spoke to Anthony Joshua last summer,” said Ronaldo. “At 33 you start to think your legs are walking.
“I want to stay in sport, in football. People will look at me and say, ‘Cristiano was an amazing player, but now he’s slow.’ I dont want that
“You can change a lot about your body, but the problem isn’t that. It depends on your mindset, motivation, and experience, which I think is the most complex thing.
“You can mature in sport. Look at yourself [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. “