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 LaLiga 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 per cent fit. I had to show what I was feeling.
“I can only apologise if anyone was offended, but I did it from the heart.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 20, 2019
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.”
The second leg is scheduled to be played on March 12.
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