Conor McGregor appears at 1st Russian football match since World Cup final - this time without Putin
UFC's Conor McGregor made his first appearance at a Russian football match since the 2018 World Cup final, attending CSKA Moscow's game with Ferencvaros, but this time he was not accompained by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
McGregor was a proud honored guest of the Russian president, whom he lauded as "one of the greatest leaders of our time", at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium to take in France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the lashing rain in the Russian capital back in July 2018.Also on rt.com ‘One of the greatest leaders of our time!’ - McGregor pictured with Putin at World Cup Final
Upon his second visit to the country as part of a press tour, The Notorious told an expectant crowd in central Moscow on Thursday he would make his UFC comeback on January 18 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, against an unnamed opponent.
The Irishman also announced he would take in a football match that evening, at first however struggling to recalling the team name, before remembering local side CSKA Moscow's Europa League clash against Hungarians Ferencvaros at VEB Arena.
Конор МакГрегор заглянул на матч ЦСКА в Лиге Европы😎Твои эмоции, когда увидел гениальные ходы Виктора Гончаренко😁 pic.twitter.com/9YmsCRbbct— Tribuna.com Беларусь (@goalsby) October 24, 2019
Conor McGregor makes his 2nd appearance at a football match in Russia - #CSKA Moscow's Europa League tie vs Ferencvaros - since the 2018 World Cup final last summer, where he attended as a special guest of Vladimir Putin @TheNotoriousMMApic.twitter.com/RWFqDlDrHX— Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) October 24, 2019
However, this time TV cameras picked up McGregor in the stands cutting a lonely figure without his usual Russian football buddy president Putin, the man to whom McGregor boasted gifting the first ever bottle of his own brand whiskey 'Proper 12'.
Instead, he was left to make do with the company of CSKA president Yevgeny Giner, waving to fans with a red and blue scarf from the VIP section.
Конор Макгрегор приехал на матч ЦСКА – «Ференцварош» в Москве. pic.twitter.com/1y5GWqlejY— IZ.RU (@izvestia_ru) October 24, 2019
Конор Макгрегор собирается посетить сегодня ЦСКА - Ференцварош. pic.twitter.com/pHhLtckESo— Рейтинг Букмекеров (@bookierating) October 24, 2019
In the same press conference given hours earlier, McGregor also confirmed he would support Russia in next year's Euro 2020, for which Stanislav Cherchesov's side have alreday qualified, in the event Ireland would not make the tournament.
McGregor's favorite Boys in Green sit in first place in Group D on goal difference and level on points with Denmark, whom they play in their final game, a win against the Danes earning qualification.
As for CSKA, the match against the Hungarian minnows is vital, who sit rock bottom of Group H having lost their openeing two games in the competition.