Three weeks ago, Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone ‘s ‘cojones’ celebration was sanctioned by the European football governing body, and the Argentine was fined for the wild celebration, after he said it means his team have got ‘balls’, now Juventus hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo rubbed salt into the wounds of the players and fans of the Spanish side by imitating Simeone’s ‘cojones’ celebration after ruthlessly eliminating them from the Champions League. UEFA may decide to fine the five-time Balon d’Or winner just like they did to the Atleti boss.
The talisman was the star of the show, scoring the three goals needed to secure an aggregate 3-2 victory and progression to the quarter final stage. It was from the penalty spot that Ronaldo completed his hat-trick and condemned Atleti to elimination, and the superstar forward was seen grabbing his crotch area in a very animated matter after Juve were confirmed victors.
It is believed Ronaldo’s gesture was a direct reference to the behaviour of Atleti boss Simeone, who performed the same action after his side scored a late goal in the first-leg of the contest.
After Atleti defender Jose Gimenez scored the first goal late on in a 2-0 win in the Spanish capital, Simeone likewise grabbed his crotch area while facing in the direction of the crowd. For his part, Simeone did not seem upset by Ronaldo’s response, admitting that he can understand the passion he was feeling.
Simeone told Sky Italia: ‘Ronaldo is the best in the world, he can put in these performances on big nights. He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character.’
After performing the action during the first leg, Simeone apologised and said he had not meant it as offensive towards Juventus.
‘I had to show what I was feeling. I can only apologise if anyone was offended, but I did it from the heart. I did it as a player in Lazio against Bologna and I did it again to show our fans that we have cojones. It wasn’t aimed at the other team, I was turning towards our own supporters. It’s not a nice gesture, I admit, but I felt the need to do it,’ he said.
He was subsequently charged by UEFA and fined £17,000 as a result. It now remains to be seen whether they will take similar action against Ronaldo, and fine the Portugal captain for acting in the same manner.
Juventus now join Manchester City, Manchester United, Ajax, Porto and Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.
Wednesday night will see the remaining two teams decided, as Liverpool travel to Bayern Munich and Barcelona host Lyon in Catalonia.