Conor McGregor places huge five-figure bet on Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2024

McGregor bet on Ronaldo to win the Golden Boot (Image: Instagram)

Conor McGregor demonstrated his faith in a fellow aging superstar after revealing a lofty bet placed on this summer’s European Championships. The Irish mixed martial arts icon wagered €60,000 (around £50k) on Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the Golden Boot award, which would pay out €900,000 (£760k) should the 39-year-old striker top the scoring charts in Germany.

“60 G’s on @Cristiano to retain his Euro Golden Boot. Siuuu!” McGregor captioned his Twitter post. He also included a photo of the pair sharing a laugh at the ‘Day of Reckoning’ boxing event, captured during a largely awkward interaction between McGregor and Ronaldo.

Despite their awkward interaction in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo and McGregor have forged a public friendship dating back nearly a decade. Each has earned all-world accolades in their respective disciplines — Ronaldo has won five Balon d’Or trophies while McGregor claimed the Featherweight and Lightweight championship belts — and share divisive self-confidence.

Ronaldo and McGregor in a 2016 Instagram post (Image: Instagram)

“[Ronaldo] kept coming over,” McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh told the Irish Independent about their recent meeting. “It was very enjoyable. We spoke about training regimes and the psychological aspects of competition and after a while I started to realise: ‘This guy is just like Conor.’ Just a one-track mind, no interest in anything else. Civilians would call them obsessed or say there was something wrong with them, but you can’t get to that level unless you have that personality.”

Party conversations about fitness naturally led to a shared workout session between the two superstars, as McGregor posted a shirtless photo in 2016 inside the UFC octagon. “My brother Ronaldo dropped by the gym today! He is an animal,” McGregor wrote. “Thank you @cristiano, much respect! I will see you for that Forbes number 1 spot next year.”

McGregor’s betting slip indicates that he received 14/1 odds on Ronaldo taking home the award, chances that have narrowed since Kylian Mbappe’s facial injury. The Portuguese legend is currently the third most likely winner at 8/1. Ronaldo won the Golden Boot at the 2021 Euros last time out and had a glorious chance to open his account against Czechia on Tuesday, guiding an uncontested header off the post before being whistled marginally offside by VAR.

The Irish fighter has much more time to focus on football this summer after opting to step away from his bout with Michael Chandler in UFC 303. McGregor was slated to break a nearly three-year absence from the octagon against the American, but after an ominous canceled press conference, it was announced he’d withdraw from the bout due to injury.

“Very tough to be ruled out of my scheduled return bout,” McGregor wrote on Instagram. “I picked up an injury prior to the press conference that required more time to heal than was available to me. The decision to postpone the fight was not made lightly, but one made in consultation with my doctors, the UFC, and my team.”