Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has insisted that he does not believe Cristiano Ronaldo's controversial goal celebration was directed towards him, after Juventus' 3-0 victory on Tuesday.
After netting his side's third, Ronaldo altered his usual celebration slightly, thrusting his hands towards his crotch instead of down by his side, in a move which many have suggested to be a dig at Simeone, who celebrated Atletico's 2-0 win in the first leg in similarly controversial fashion.
When asked whether he felt Ronaldo's celebration was directed towards him, Simeone insisted that it was likely meant positively. He is quoted by Marca as saying:
"He may have been saying they have personality."
Ronaldo was in inspired form as he worked tirelessly to help Juventus recover from the 2-0 loss in the first leg. He headed Juventus ahead on the night in the first half, before a second goal with his head shortly after the interval brought the tie level on aggregate.
Just as it looked as though the match would be going to extra time, Juventus were awarded a late penalty following a clumsy challenge by Atletico's Angel Correa on Federico Bernardeschi, and Ronaldo retained his composure and sent the ball crashing into the net to seal a dramatic victory for the Serie A giants.
It was his eighth hat-trick in the competition, moving him level with Barcelona's Lionel Messi as the only two men to have ever achieved such a feat. However, despite his stunning track record in the Champions League, several Juventus fans had begun to grow frustrated as Ronaldo had failed to bring his European form to Italy.
Before Tuesday's match, Ronaldo had registered just one goal and two assists in six games, also being shown a red card in his first match against Valencia.
Perhaps spurred on by the criticism, Ronaldo proved why he is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game, inspiring his team to a much-needed victory and ensuring Juventus' place in the next round of the competition.