The Argentine manager showcased a bizarre reaction to his club’s opener against Juventus, which saw him grabbing at his crotch on the touchline

Diego Simeone claims his reaction to his side’s opener in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Juventus was his way of saying Atletico Madrid have “a lot of balls”.

Jose Gimenez opened the scoring for the Spanish side just moments after the club had seen what appeared to be their first goal of the night ruled out when Alvaro Morata was deemed to have fouled Giorgio Chiellini before heading home. 

The officials turned to VAR and judged the Spain international to have pushed the defender in the back, choosing to cut short the Rojiblancos’ celebrations and leave the match locked at 0-0.

Gimenez, though, was on hand to slide home in the 78th minuted, leading to Simeone’s animated reaction, which involved the 48-year-old grabbing his crotch while gesticulating toward the stands. 

“It means we have balls, a lot of balls,” he told reporters when questioned about his celebration after the contest. “To start [Diego] Costa and Koke after they hadn’t played for a month takes balls.”

Despite not backing down much, the manager did offer a bit of an apology to anybody who was offended by his actions. 

“I did it as a player in Lazio-Bologna and I did it again to show our fans that we have cojones,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It wasn’t aimed at the other team, I was turning towards our own supporters.

“It’s not a nice gesture, I’ll admit, but I felt the need to do it. It was such a tough game, we fought so hard and Diego Costa worked really hard when he wasn’t 100 per cent fit. I had to show what I was feeling.

“I can only apologise if anyone was offended, but I did it from the heart.”

And while the celebration may have looked like a manager who was still upset over the VAR controversy, Simeone was quick to say he still backed the use of technology in the sport. 

“We still believe the VAR can make football more just for everyone,” he said. 

Godin’s fine second leave’s Atletico in a strong position heading into the second leg, and history is on thier side. 

Juventus have failed to progress each of the last five times they’ve lost the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie, and will need a stark turnaround against a strong Atleti back line to stand any chance of overturning Wednesday’s result in the second leg. 

But Simeone knows the job is far from done, with his side still having to face Cristiano Ronaldo and the Italian champions on their home ground. 

“The tie is not over yet, there is still a game to play,” he said. “For sure we will have to suffer against a great opponent, with great players.” 

The second leg will take place on March 12 in Turin. Atletico will be without the services of Diego Costa and Thomas Partey, while Juventus will have to face the match without full-back Alex Sandro, with all three having picked up bans for bookings in the first leg.

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