Conor McGregor seems to have rubbed off on Cristiano Ronaldo as the Al-Nassr superstar channelled the Irishman in a response to his former team-mate.

The 38-year-old was childhood friends with former footballer Fabio Paim as the pair were in the Sporting Lisbon academy together. Paim didn't go on to have a successful career and the 35-year-old recently opened up about his relationship with the Manchester United legend in an interview with The Sun.

Paim said that if he had "half the head that Cristiano" had he would have gone on to have a positive career in the sport and added that the pair enjoyed a holiday together just weeks before he took the world by storm in Euro 2004. He even joked that he should have one of Ronaldo's five Ballon d'Or titles which caught the attention of the striker who sarcastically replied with: "Wtf. who is this guy?"

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The response from the Real Madrid icon was akin to McGregor's legendary clap-back in 2016 during a pre-fight press conference for UFC 205. The Irishman nonchalantly asked "Who the f*** is that guy?" after former UFC star Jeremy Stephens said he would be the Irishman's toughest fight among the fighters on the stage.

Paim's party lifestyle got the better of him as he never went on to achieve the heights people believed he could have as a youngster. "Until today, there has been no one like me that young. At that time I was better than Cristiano. I didn't work the same as them [Ronaldo and Lionel Messi," he claimed.

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He said he was earning thousands of pounds as a 13-year-old from Sporting
Paim said he was better than Ronaldo when they were youngsters
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr in 2023
The pair recently reunited in Saudi Arabia to watch Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou

"I started earning lots of money and had fame way earlier. That led me to a different path, that's why I'm not among them and I don't deserve it. I was born with talent. As I was earning lots of money, I got the illusion I didn't need the effort."

Paim bounced around clubs in Lithuania, Angola and Qatar before retiring from the sport in 2018. He revealed the staggering amount of money he was earning as a teenager during his time at Sporting and said his ascent was "too fast".

He last fought in July 2021
McGregor became a two-division champion in the UFC in 2016

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"When I was 13, my monthly wage was €19,000 plus a €150,000 bonus per year. It was always going up. It was too fast. I always looked after my family because I had the biggest income at home by 12. My mother was a domestic worker in other people's houses."