Last night Croatian international Nikola Vlašic scored the opening goal in CSKA Moscow’s 2-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala in the capital of the Republic of Dagestan.
The match was kicked-off by UFC lightweight champ and Anzhi supporter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I remember in 2001 when I twice walked around the stadium to try and somehow get inside. I didn’t have any money for a ticket, but I wanted to support Anzhi so much. Eventually, I ran into an acquaintance, called Gaziyev. We trained together at the same freestyle wrestling gym,” Khabib wrote in an Instagram post ahead of his appearance.
“He was in the older group in the camp, I was with the younger ones, and he let me in without paying. There were no seats, so I stood for 90 minutes. Almost 20 years have gone by, and a lot has changed.”
Nurmagomedov has become the centre of attention when he jumped out the cage after beating Conor McGregor earlier this month to attack one of his team members.
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After the match Nurmagomedov went onto the pitch to congratulate the players, including Vlašić, before going into the dressing room to pose for photos and more chats.
“What did he say to me? He congratulated me on the victory and told me that in two weeks I had managed to destroy two of his favourite clubs, Real Madrid and Anzhi,” Vlašić told 24sata.
The Croatian international scored the only goal of the game two weeks ago when CSKA Moscow beat Luka Modrić’s Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
Vlašić, who helped the Croatia U-21 team to qualify for the European Championships midweek, is expected to be called up again to the senior team for Nations League clashes next month against Spain and England.
The midfielder has been impressive this season since moving to Russia from Everton, scoring four times.