Cristiano Ronaldo knew there is no love waiting for him whenever he plays against Atletico Madrid, so he got used to the mocking coming from the club's avid supporters. But it doesn't mean he's ready to send the insults back as Ronaldo stressed that was the case when his team Juventus was hosted by Atletico last Wednesday.
Atletico forced a draw, 2-2, versus the Ronaldo-led Juventus team but the game's result appeared to have been eclipsed by a controversy. When the superstar kicked a wide at the second half of the game and missed the chance to win the night for Juventus, the home crowd erupted.
And mercilessly, they rained insults on Ronaldo, whose main crime was he played for eight years under the Real Madrid banner. Atletico fans, when the opportunity presents itself, always remind Ronaldo that he chose the wrong Spanish club.
So the Wanda Metropolitano spectators again took the chance and jeered Ronaldo, but for the five-time Ballon d'Or recipient, it's all part of the job. This Ronaldo insisted when his gesture during the game night was misread in local reports.
The Spanish media reported the Juventus star was returning the favor. He was insulting the home crowd with a hand gesture.
But Ronaldo protested, aware of the fact that he incurred a hefty fine last season for a similar offense. He clarified that what he signaled Wednesday night was remotely insulting.
"Learn, you have to learn," Ronaldo said was the meaning of his gesture, per the report by Metro.
Having said his piece on the matter and setting the incident aside, for now, it looks like the greater worry for Ronaldo is how Juventus is faring so far at the Champions League. According to the Daily Star, the superstar was not his usual self and relatively, he had a quiet night.
Team manager Maurizio Sarri was not exactly happy with how the game ended, observing in a post-match interview that it was evident Juventus lacked focus and killer instinct when it faced Atletico.
"It's a pity we drew the match because we had the game in our hand for a long time. We need to improve in our aggressiveness and attention," Sarri was reported as saying.
On the other side of the fence, Diego Simeone lauded Atletico for not giving up and for fighting back, and the collective effort led to the draw. Simeone conceded the end-result was not good or bad as the game revealed that Atletico needs to catch up on experience.
"The important thing is not to lose intensity during the game and to maintain faith in our characteristics," the Atletico leader was reported as saying.