Cristiano Ronaldo Facing Ban in Champions League Quarter-Finals for Celebration

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 12:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Juventus and Club de Atletico Madrid at Allianz Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa./Getty Images)
Claudio Villa./Getty Images

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been charged by UEFA for his celebration at the end of the team's Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to fire the Serie A side into the quarter-finals, with a 3-0 win on the night enough to overturn the 2-0 lead Atletico held from the first leg.

After the game, Ronaldo gestured towards his crotch in celebration, mimicking the actions of Atletico manager Diego Simeone from the first leg (U.S. only):

Per Sky Sports News, UEFA has charged Ronaldo with improper conduct, meaning he may face a suspension for the quarter-final clash with Ajax.

As noted in the report, Simeone was fined £17,000 after getting the same charge. Per John Cross of the Daily Mirror, given the Atletico boss wasn't given a touchline ban, Ronaldo is also unlikely to be prohibited from playing against Ajax.

Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports provided more details on the charges put to Ronaldo:

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While Simeone did later apologise for his conduct, his explanation of the celebration initially was that some of the decisions he made for the game required "balls," per Marca.

Speaking about Ronaldo's imitation of the celebration following his side's elimination from the Champions League, Simeone said "like me, [he] was trying to show his character," per Danny Gallagher of the MailOnline.

If Juventus were to be without Ronaldo for the quarter-finals it would be a huge blow, as he has proved himself as the ultimate big-game player.

That was evident in the way he performed against Atletico. Ronaldo scored two exceptional headers to give Juventus parity in the tie before he kept his nerve from the penalty spot late on to score the decisive goal.

Here's the moment he slotted from 12 yards (U.S. only):

OptaJean summed up just how prolific Ronaldo is in the knockout stages of the competition:

Having won the Champions League in four of the last five seasons with Real Madrid, Ronaldo knows what's required to get over the line in this tournament. With that in mind, Juventus are one of the favourites for glory in this season's edition.

While Ajax performed brilliantly to knock out Real in the previous round, they represented one of the most favourable draws at the quarter-final stage. The first leg of the last-eight tie will be played in Amsterdam on April 10, and the Bianconeri will desperate to see their talisman involved.