Diego Simeone responds after Ronaldo mocked him with crotch-grabbing celebration

By Mirror: Wednesday, March 13th 2019 at 10:45 GMT +3 | Football
Diego Simeone's gesture [Courtesy]

Diego Simeone insisted he has no problem with Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘cojones’ gesture, which appeared to be aimed by the Juventus striker towards the Atletico Madrid manager.

For the 52nd time in his career and the fourth against Atleti, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to end the Spanish side’s hopes of winning the Champions League on home soil.

Atletico led 2-0 from the first leg of their last 16 clash, but Ronaldo’s threesome in Turin - culminating with an 86th minute penalty - earned Juve a 3-2 aggregate success.

Simeone stole headlines with his celebration at the Wanda Metropolitano three weeks ago, and he was mimicked by the Portuguese superstar at the Allianz Stadium after his conversion from 12 yards.

But a downbeat Simeone, speaking post-match, had no grudge to bear towards the ex-Real Madrid man.

“ Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world, he can put in these performances on big nights,” said the Argentine.

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"He will have seen how I did it at the Wanda Metropolitano and, like me, was trying to show his character.”

Simeone’s side were deserving first-leg winners and took a commanding lead to Italy.

But they failed to manage a single shot on target, and Simeone admitted his side had simply been beaten by the better side.

“Juventus played better. There was the chance with Alvaro Morata’s header, but not much else. Juve continually pushed forward and entered into our penalty area, so we had to defend.

“I have to congratulate Juve, because they attacked very well. They did better and deserved the victory. It’s true, we made mistakes too, but they did better tactically and on the second balls.

“Juventus played in a similar way to what we did in the first leg. We struggled and they deservedly go through to the quarter-finals.

“I don’t think it was our worst performance, nor did I see a lack of character. They simply played better and we have to congratulate them.

“I think Juve’s greatest strength is their pressing capability. Even when we did escape their pressing, we weren’t good enough on the second balls.

“I want to be clear, we didn’t go out because we played badly, but because Juventus played well. When that happens, you just have to tip your hat to the opposition.”

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