Atletico Madrid President Fires Back at Cristiano Ronaldo over UCL Comment

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League  match between Atletico Madrid v Juventus at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on February 20, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has fired back at Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo over his Champions League comments after Wednesday's 2-0 loss, saying the 34-year-old hasn't really won five European titles, "but only three."

Ronaldo was jeered by the home fans throughout his return to the Spanish capital and didn't hold back in response. He put up five fingers during the match and reminded everyone of his personal success and Atletico's failures in the mixed zone after, per DW Sports:

DW Sports @dw_sports

🖐️5⃣ #UCL titles for Cristiano Ronaldo But 0⃣% class. https://t.co/FJ4tC7PrQ5

Not to be outdone, Cerezo said Ronaldo was a passenger for two of his Champions League triumphs, per Radio CRC (h/t Goal's Chris Burton): "A small clarification is that Cristiano Ronaldo has not won five Champions Leagues at all, but only three. The remaining two against Atletico, he did not really win them. Who won those two finals? I will tell you in the next interview."

Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

As explained by Burton, Ronaldo's Real Madrid twice eliminated Atletico in Europe to win the Champions League, with the striker playing minimal roles in 2014 and 2016. He converted a penalty in a 4-1 extra-time win in the former, with his team already up by two goals, and scored the last penalty in a shootout two years later.

His overall record against Atletico Madrid is sterling, with 22 goals scored against the Rojiblancos, per FOX Sports.

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20: Angel Correa of Atletico Madrid and Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid celebrate the second goal of his team during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Juventus at Estadio Wand
TF-Images/Getty Images

That success didn't carry over on Wednesday, however, as manager Diego Simeone and his troops completely neutralised the Italian threat and bagged a well-earned win.

Juventus' best player was goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, and while Ronaldo was not among the worst performers, he was far from the best.

The Serie A champions signed the Portugal international to get them over the hump in Europe, and as Miguel Delaney shared, he has yet to deliver in what could be the team's worst Champions League campaign in years:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Ronaldo taunted Atletico fans with some supreme spite as he left stadium. But all that matters now: he and Juve are facing up to worst CL in years, as he has his worst goal return since 2005/06, when he was signed to win it. The pressure is on https://t.co/eXt5LYnLPu https://t.co/4j16M3NdJq

The pressure will be on him, manager Massimiliano Allegri and the rest of the Bianconeri for the return leg in Turin on March 12. Atletico have one of the best defensive units in the world and are unlikely to give the Italians any gifts.

They'll have to improve tremendously in the coming weeks to avoid an early exit, which would far outweigh their unbeaten campaign in Serie A so far.