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Dublin: 9°C Monday 17 May 2021

Diego Simeone apologises for crotch-clutching celebration

The Atletico Madrid coach enthusiastically responded to Jose Gimenez’s 78th-minute opener.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.

DIEGO SIMEONE SAID he was trying to show Atletico Madrid’s fans that his side had “cojones” when he celebrated a goal in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Juventus by clutching his own crotch.

The Atleti coach enthusiastically responded to Jose Gimenez’s 78th-minute opener, after Alvaro Morata had seen a goal ruled out by VAR.

Diego Godin added a second for the La Liga club at the Wanda Metropolitano to leave Juve with an uphill struggle to make it into the quarter-finals.

Simeone pointed out that he had celebrated in a similar fashion during his playing days, but apologised to anyone who may have been offended.

I did it as a player in Lazio-Bologna and I did it again to show our fans that we have cojones,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It wasn’t aimed at the other team, I was turning towards our own supporters.

“It’s not a nice gesture, I’ll admit, but I felt the need to do it. It was such a tough game, we fought so hard and Diego Costa worked really hard when he wasn’t 100% fit. I had to show what I was feeling.

“I can only apologise if anyone was offended, but I did it from the heart.”

Atletico Madrid finished second to Borussia Dortmund in their group, losing 4-0 in Germany before a 2-0 victory on home soil.

We had put in a great performance against Borussia Dortmund,” added Simeone. “We got important players back like Koke and Costa, we were able to play an intelligent game against a huge team with very strong players.

“We had to make the most of every situation we could get. It’s a very good result.

“We know that we are facing a great team, a great club and great champions in Turin. We fully expect to suffer in the second leg.”

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The second leg is scheduled to be played on 12 March.

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