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13 Aug, 2021 16:17

'It's better than Messi!' Russian 3rd-tier football club in Dagestan hint at signing Khabib in bid for Russian Cup glory

'It's better than Messi!' Russian 3rd-tier football club in Dagestan hint at signing Khabib in bid for Russian Cup glory

Dagestan-based football club FC Legion Dynamo Makhachkala have hinted at the signing of local lad and ex-UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to help the 'great battle' they face in their attempt to win the Russian Cup.

Legion bettered former Russian Premier League team Anzhi Makhachkala, the club Khabib supported as a boy, 2-0 to reach the Russian Cup group stage, which will se them pitted against some of the country's top clubs. 

The club on Friday posted an image to their official Instagram page of president Shamil Lakhiyalov shaking hands with the 'Dagestani Eagle' and what appeared to be a contract quite literally on the table.

"A great battle awaits our Legion, for which we need great warriors. We are ready to welcome a Russian Premier League team together with Khabib Nurmagomedov," the club captioned the image, although it's not yet clear what deal, if any, was being made.

As a result of the draw on Friday, Legion were pitted in Group 6 against Russian Premier League outfit FC Ufa, with fellow Caucasian club Alania Vladikavkaz completing the trio.

One fan could not contain his excitement at the news, claiming the news was "better than Messi", comparing the transfer story to Argentine great Lionel's seismic move to PSG from Barcelona earlier this week.

RT Sport spoke in June to Lakhiyalov after news broke of the lower-league side offering retired hero Khabib a contract and asking the undefeated 29-0 fighter to 'name his price'.

READ MORE: 'I will accept this': Ex-UFC star Khabib says he's open to switching to football if he gets good offer

It was however mooted that Khabib would play for free to help the modest club raise sponsorship funds and attract some much-needed attention to the team.

"Khabib doesn't need money, he wants to play football for passion...Khabib signing to our club would elevate Dagestani football," Lakhiyalov told RT Sport.

The fighter, who retired from mixed martial arts after his win over Justin Gaethje, is a self-confessed Real Madrid fanatic and built up something of a rapport with ex-Los Blancos star Cristiano Ronaldo, who even presented Khabib with a personalised shirt during the latter's time at the Bernabeu.

The thirty-two-year-old has been known to frequent matches at Messi's new team PSG, Moscow club Lokomotiv, and has been spotted wearing a Galatasaray shirt, as well as harbouring a soft spot for his hometown team Anzhi Makhachkala, whose stadium held the homecoming after his title win over Conor McGregor in October 2018.

Also on rt.com Khabib receives CONTRACT OFFER from Russian football club asking UFC star to name his price after displaying goalscoring exploits