According to reports in Express Sport, Former Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly facing a ban from UEFA after he supposedly shouted “sons of b*tches” at Atletico Madrid fans in the Champions League comeback win for his Italian Serie A side Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly kept Juventus’ Champions League quest on course in typical fashion this week as his sensational hat-trick against Atletico Madrid ensured his side’s place in the quarter-finals.
Juve had been trailing 2-0 from the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano and they needed something special in Turin to preserve their chances of winning the European crown.
Ronaldo had been struggling to reach his usual high standards in the competition this season, with just one goal in six appearances prior to the second leg, but when the moment demanded it, he delivered.
His third, from the penalty spot, came in the closing stages of the second leg and sparked wild celebrations among the Juventus players and fans. And Ronaldo appeared to be venting plenty of frustrations at the away supporters, having previously played for their city rivals Real Madrid.
Ronaldo was picked up on Vamos de Movistar cameras, and Spanish lip-readers claim the 34-year-old was shouting “hijos de puta” (sons of b******).
The superstar could now face a ban from UEFA, especially when paired with his celebration. The Juve star grabbed his crotch, the gesture was likely inspired by a similar move made by Atletico head coach Diego Simeone in his side’s first-leg win over Juve, which the Argentine explained was a message to the fans watching the game that his team had “balls, a lot of balls.”
When asked about Ronaldo’s celebration in the post-game press conference following the second leg, Simeone said: “I’m sure Cristiano made the gesture with the same intention I did, with his people.”
Indeed, Ronaldo’s team-mate Giorgio Chiellini used similar terminology after the second-leg triumph, telling Sky Sport Italia that Juventus “put [their] cojones into the match.”
It is unclear whether Ronaldo will receive a ban for his gesture, but he will probably be fined at a minimum. Diego Simeone was fined €20,000 (£17k/$23k) by UEFA after the governing body concluded that his controversial celebration constituted “improper conduct”, but the Atleti coach escaped a touchline ban. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, UEFA is set to Ronaldo’s gesture in the same way they did Simeone’s and a suspension could be warranted if the Juve attacker is found to have goaded Atletico fans. However, if not, the course of action against Ronaldo is likely to be a fine only, as in the case of Simeone.
Simeone was found to have violated Article 11.2 of UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations – engaging in conduct that is “insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct” – and Ronaldo’s mimicry of the Argentine’s behaviour suggests that he too will be found in breach. Mundo Deportivo are now reporting that Atletico will present a formal complaint to UEFA over Ronaldo’s behaviour, with the report suggesting that the Juventus star called Atleti fans “sons of b*itches” based on video recordings at pitch level.
Crucially, the disciplinary measures depend on UEFA’s interpretation of events. Ronaldo might escape with an official warning or reprimand, but he could also be fined (up to a maximum of €100,00) and suspended.
Juventus director Pavel Nedved, meanwhile, is confident that the club’s star man will not be hit with a suspension: “I don’t fear a ban,” he told Sky Sport Italia following the Champions League draw. “It’s a gesture that should remain on the field. The emotions expressed on the pitch should remain there.
“He was insulted a lot in Madrid and also by the fans that came to our home. I understand it, so let’s go forward without any bans. “We deserved to go through. We earned two more games in the Champions League, two games in the quarter-finals. It was a beautiful thing for them and our fans.”
Ronaldo only left Real Madrid last summer, joining Juventus in a £105million deal. And having shone in Tuesday’s Champions League encounter, the Portuguese ace insisted that was why the Serie A giants signed him.
Ronaldo Sky Sport Italia: “It had to be a really special night and it was. “If we continue like this, we have not won yet but we have reasons to be proud and we are on the right way. “That’s why Juve signed me and I tried to do my best job.
“It’s a magical night. It was a very difficult team to play but we showed that we were a very big team. “We proceed step by step, we will see.”
Juventus will face Ajax in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. Should they win that, they will come up against Manchester City or Tottenham in the semi-finals. A return to England therefore beckons for Ronaldo.