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Well, one club has responded and appears willing to give 'The Eagle' a chance to soar: in the third tier of Russian football, no less.
Preparing for my football debut :soccer:- khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 24, 2021
I'm free agent, and ready to accept offers.
Готовлюсь к дебюту на большом футболе, жду предложения, будем рассматривать. https://t.co/V2NlBX5iqD
FC Kamaz replied to Khabib's offer detailing a "number of reasons" why the Real Madrid fan should join the promotion-chasing PFL (Professional Football League) club.
"We offer you to make your football debut as part of our team," read the club statement, per RT Sport. "PFL is the football UFC... We play every match only to win [and are] an ambitious team with the task of entering the FNL."
The FNL is the second tier of Russian football. Kamaz are currently fourth in their division, four points off top. The task of signing Khabib appears to have been made easier by the fact that Russia's PFL responded with a validation certificate, apparently approving the 29-0 MMA star to play.
The club have invited Nurmagomedov to take part in a three-week training camp, starting on 12 February.
Kamaz, whose nickname translates as 'The Car Workers', are based in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny. Their 6,504 capacity Kamaz Stadium is around 1,300 miles from the Dagestan homeland of the UFC legend, which could prove an issue.
Still, as Khabib's friend Cristiano Ronaldo knows only too well: to make those professional football dreams a reality, you need to be willing to travel. And the league claim they are ready to receive Nurmagomedov.
Khabibs got 99 pace pic.twitter.com/ccWhMJcLF7- ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ:moyai::island: (@TheArtOfWar6) January 10, 2021
"We have prepared for you a certificate for [Khabib]," wrote the PFL, with regard to how quickly he can be registered. "If everything goes well, you just have to insert the date of issue."
A fun publicity stunt from the league and club? Or will we really see Nurmagomedov make his Professional Football League debut in the coming months?
If the latter proves true, we seriously hope no Russian third-tier teams get into an 11-man brawl with Kamaz in 2021. We hear their new signing is a bit handy.
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