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Conor McGregor pays tribute to ‘phenomenal athlete’ Cristiano Ronaldo

 Conor McGregor pays tribute to ‘phenomenal athlete’ Cristiano Ronaldo
Former UFC champion Conor McGregor says that the genesis of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo's success is his dedication and his perfectionist attitude, something which the Irishman says he has in common with him.

Between them they boast nearly 200 million Instagram followers, as well as both occupying spots in the top five of the official Forbes list for the world's highest paid athletes and, according to Conor McGregor, it takes ruthless dedication for athletes such as himself and Cristiano Ronaldo to ascend to the absolute pinnacle of their industries.

READ MORE: 'A living football god' Reaction as Ronaldo takes center stage with Champions League hat-trick

McGregor's accomplishment in the combat arena speaks for itself. He is the first ever UFC fighter to hold world titles in two separate weight divisions simultaneously, parlaying the resulting fame into the single most lucrative combat sports event in history, an August 2016 fight with the undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, has achieved incredible success throughout every stop in his illustrious career thus far. Manchester United, Real Madrid and now Juventus have all profited greatly from the Portuguese man's talents, as has his national team, but what is it which separates athletes such as these from the majority of their peers?

According to McGregor, it comes down to dedication.

“Cristiano is a phenomenal athlete, person, and entrepreneur,” McGregor said in an interview with FIFA. 

“His all-around discipline, perfectionist attitude, and dedication to his craft is inspiring and has inspired so many young children to play football.”

Many had suggested that Ronaldo's summer move to Juventus in Serie A, a league with a reputation for far sterner defenses compared to the La Liga rearguards he plundered for the best part of a decade, may stifle his goal-scoring instincts. Not so. He has become an integral cog in the all-conquering Juventus machine, scoring 24 goals up to this point in the season.

Noting this, McGregor says that he was impressed by Ronaldo's Champions League return to Madrid to face his former team's city rival's Atletico where he was central to his side's advancement to the quarter-finals.

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“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.”

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