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

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 21, 2019

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

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo will be available to face Ajax in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after avoiding a ban for his celebration in the last-16 win over Atletico Madrid.

The forward grabbed his crotch to mimic Atletico manager Diego Simeone during his team's 3-0 second-leg victory in Turin, which saw them overturn a 2-0 deficit. Matias Grez of CNN reported on Thursday that Ronaldo has received a €20,000 (£17,000) fine from the governing body on Thursday.

Simeone was fined the same amount for his celebration in the first leg of the tie at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium but avoided a touchline ban, per BBC Sport.

The news will be a big boost to Juventus and their hopes of lifting the Champions League for the first time since 1996. 

Ronaldo was brought to Turin in summer 2018 for €100 million (£88.3 million) with the aim of delivering success in Europe.

The Portuguese superstar has won the continent's top competition five times in his career. His first title came with Manchester United in 2009, and he went on to win it four times with Real Madrid, including the last three consecutively.

Ronaldo was in inspirational form in the last 16 after defeat in the first leg had Juventus heading for an early exit from the competition, netting a hat-trick to seal a 3-2 aggregate win and a place in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo suggested to Sky Sport Italia (h/t Ben Gladwell at ESPN FC) after the win that his goals were the reason Juventus signed him.

"This had to be a great night and it was one, not just for my goals but for the team. Maybe this is why Juve signed me. I just do my job and it was a magic night. We've not done anything yet, but we're very proud."

Juventus will now hope their talisman can reproduce his heroics against Ajax and secure a place in the semi-finals against either Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur.

Ajax have already pulled off one of this season's biggest Champions League shocks, defeating Ronaldo's former club and the competition's holders Real Madrid in the last 16 to book their place in the quarter-finals.