When it comes to unlikely sports bromances, the shared bond between Conor McGregor and Kieran Tierney is arguably the most unusual.
Although one of them wore Versace and Gucci clothes after training sessions and the other used a Tesco bag to carry their belongings, the two have developed a strong friendship over the years.
McGregor and Tierney are good friends
Arsenal left-back Tierney, who is enjoying a wonderful season in North London, idolizes the Irishman and the couple connected on social media while the Scottish footballer was still at Celtic.
McGregor, who admitted to being a Hoops fan in 2014, met the left-back at a UFC event in Belfast and the pair chatted about their love for Celtic.
They stayed in touch via social media and Tierney even gifted him a signed jersey after McGregor’s friends told the Scottish international that the UFC superstar would be delighted to receive it.
Speaking to the Daily Record in 2019, Tierney admitted that he struggled to sleep due to excitement after seeing the former two-weight world champion wearing the jersey during a training session.
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The proud Irishman is a Celtic fan
‘The Notorious’ wore Tierney’s signed Celtic jersey during a training session
“Honestly, I couldn’t sleep that night,” he said. “He posted the photo at 10.50pm and I was sitting there thinking, ‘No way.’ That was me up all night, and I started training buzzing.
“I’m a huge fan, especially because of the way he talks about positivity. It’s about the mindset and how you react to people who doubt you, and how to come back from losses. Any athlete can identify with him.
When the former Celtic defender was out for ten weeks with a groin injury towards the end of the 2018/19 season, it was McGregor who gave him some vital fitness tips to get back on the field.
He said: “During my injury, Connor McGregor was brilliant with me. He has a program that he does on watt’s bike that helped him get in shape and he was giving me advice on that, which was amazing.
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“Anyway, I was working on the watt bike with the physical therapists at Celtic, that’s what gets you in shape through different programs. But I found out about your program and took a look to see if mine was similar.
“I was still doing the Celtic show, but the little advice from him helped too. He’s my biggest hero outside of football so it was amazing. I don’t know how my results compared to his, but it was pretty good.
“It was just great to hear from him. When you are injured you always feel a little shorter than usual because you are not on the field training with everyone.
Listening to your hero and getting some advice from him cheered me up a bit.
2016 Denise Truscello
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Despite regularly joking around with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos on Instagram and even meeting Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, McGregor admitted before his return to the UFC last year that Tierney is actually his favorite player.
“He got up and is a phenomenal footballer, phenomenal,” said the Irishman of Arsenal’s left back.
“I am talking a lot with him. He’s a great guy, a good kid and I support him. “
And you’ll no doubt be delighted to learn of Tierney’s full throttle approach in training camp.
“He’s a driving force and he’s a setback,” said former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.
“In practice, they have to tell him to calm down because he’s tackling fiercely. I really like that attitude that he brings.
“He’s got everything in his game, it’s about building around him. Perhaps an Arsenal captain in the making.
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