Cristiano Ronaldo took a swipe at Atletico Madrid’s Champions League record this week, but Diego Simeone “understands” his comments.
Diego Simeone has no particular problem with Cristiano Ronaldo’s insult towards Atletico Madrid after their defeat of Juventus on Wednesday.
Atleti stunned the Serie A leaders in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, claiming a 2-0 win at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Ronaldo had been heckled by the crowd during the match and responded by holding up his hand to indicate the five Champions Leagues he has won in his career.
The former Real Madrid star went further after the game, telling reporters “I won five Champions Leagues and these guys, zero,” as he left the ground.
But when asked for his view, Simeone told a news conference on Saturday: “I understand everything. I’m part of this world and I understand everything that can happen.”
Simeone himself caused controversy when he grabbed his groin in celebration after Jose Gimenez opened the scoring in the 78th minute.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) February 23, 2019
“You know I don’t look for excuses. Once more, I apologise to the people who clearly felt offended by the gesture from the other day, and also to Juventus,” he said.
“It was a bad expression of what I felt for my players. I say it to bring an end to the issue.”
Alvaro Morata was denied a goal by VAR against Juve, meaning he is still yet to score after four appearances for the club since his loan move from Chelsea.
However, Simeone does not believe the Spain striker should be feeling unhappy.
“Downcast? He’s only just arrived!” said Simeone. “We need his energy, his strength and for him to keep striving for the chances he’s had. If he keeps working in the same way, things will come about naturally.
“We need him, without a doubt, because he’s strong.”
Simeone also stressed he is unaware of any impending agreement between Diego Godin and Inter, after Nerazzurri CEO Giuseppe Marotta claimed a deal was almost done.
“I can’t say anything. It’s Marotta’s opinion or a few of his words,” Simeone added. “If Godin or Atletico have something to say, they’ll say it. I don’t have an opinion on something I don’t know.”