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Conor McGregor Talks 'Special Man' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Cristiano Ronaldo

Christopher Simpson

UFC star Conor McGregor believes "special man" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be made Manchester United's next permanent manager. 

The Norwegian took over at Old Trafford in December until the end of the season, but United fan McGregor has been impressed with the turnaround he has engineered.

He told FIFA.com:

"Ole Gunnar is a special man! I think he's done an incredible job with United. They have to give him the job permanently. You can feel the pride and passion he has for the club and its history, and see the players honoured to wear the Red Devils crest under him. He's really got the players performing."

Solskjaer has lost just three times in 19 games in charge, guiding the team to 14 wins. By contrast, under predecessor Jose Mourinho, United had lost seven games and drawn as many from 24 matches this season.

Irishman McGregor has supported the Red Devils since childhood:

He has been pleased to see the positive impact Solskjaer's arrival has had on United's players.

"Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford have been particularly outstanding under him," he said. "They are young, confident and fearless athletes who believe in their abilities."

Pogba has contributed nine goals and seven assists since the managerial change, while Rashford has scored eight times and assisted twice.

McGregor is also an admirer of former United star Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he met during his training for his 2016 rematch with Nate Diaz:

Of the Juventus forward, McGregor said: "Cristiano is a phenomenal athlete, person and entrepreneur. His all-around discipline, perfectionist attitude and dedication to his craft is inspiring and has inspired so many young children to play football."

The fighter was particularly impressed with the 34-year-old's UEFA Champions League hat-trick against Atletico Madrid last week, which saw the Bianconeri come from two goals down to reach the quarter-final.

McGregor said Ronaldo's efforts in the second leg were "inspiring," and he sees similarities between the pair: "We are both disciplined athletes at the top of our game."

The 30-year-old has also been likened to another former Red Devils goalscorer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Per FIFA.com, the L.A. Galaxy striker—who is no stranger to martial arts himself, as he has an honorary black belt in taekwondo—described McGregor as "the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of MMA."

McGregor feels it is the other way around:

"I respect Zlatan and his positive-winning-mentality mindset, but let's get this straight: There is only one Conor McGregor! Zlatan Ibrahimovic is trying to be the Conor McGregor of football—good luck to him. Zlatan and Paul Pogba are welcome to come and train with me whenever they like."

The Notorious returned to MMA in October after almost two years away from the sport as he pursued a crossover boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

It was a losing return, as he submitted to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fourth round of their Las Vegas bout, failing to regain his UFC lightweight championship belt in the process.

He'll be eligible to fight again from April 6, having served a six-month suspension following the brawl that took place immediately after his clash with the Russian.

   
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