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Will Cristiano Ronaldo be banned for Juventus' Champions League quarter-final against Ajax?

11:00 PM SGT 21/3/19
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus
The hat-trick hero's behaviour in the aftermath of his side's last-16 victory over Atletico had raised concerns that he would miss the next stage

Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly kept Juventus' Champions League quest on course in typical fashion this week as his sensational hat-trick against Atletico Madrid ensured his side's place in the quarter-finals.

Juve had been trailing 2-0 from the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano and they needed something special in Turin to preserve their chances of winning the European crown.

Ronaldo had been struggling to reach his usual high standards in the competition this season, with just one goal in six appearances prior to the second leg, but when the moment demanded it, he delivered.

Massimiliano Allegri's men will now face Ajax in the quarter-final following Friday's draw in Nyon, while they'll meet Manchester City or Tottenham, should they advance past the Dutch side.

However, there are concerns that Ronaldo could miss at least one of the last-eight games because the Portuguese star now faces a possible suspension.

Goal takes a look at what Ronaldo did to risk a ban and whether he will actually be punished by UEFA.


What did Cristiano Ronaldo do to risk a ban?


Ronaldo is never shy about confronting his critics and, having endured taunting from Atletico fans over the two legs, he didn't waste the opportunity to revel in the afterglow of his tie-winning performance.

After scoring all three goals to eliminate the Liga side, Ronaldo excitedly celebrated with his team-mates in front of supporters but made a controversial gesture with his hands towards his groin.

The gesture was likely inspired by a similar move made by Atletico head coach Diego Simeone in his side's first-leg win over Juve, which the Argentine explained was a message to the fans watching the game that his team had "balls, a lot of balls."

When asked about Ronaldo's celebration in the post-game press conference following the second leg, Simeone said: "I'm sure Cristiano made the gesture with the same intention I did, with his people."

Indeed, Ronaldo's team-mate Giorgio Chiellini used similar terminology after the second-leg triumph, telling Sky Sport Italia that Juventus "put [their] cojones into the match."

Mundo Deportivo have also reported that the former Manchester United star allegedly called Atleti fans "sons of b*tches".


Will Cristiano Ronaldo be banned?


UEFA confirmed on March 18 that a disciplinary investigation had been opened into the incident, with a hearing date set for March 21. The charge is "improper conduct".

However, on March 21 they then stated that they would not ban Ronaldo for the semi-finals but instead decided that a €20,000 (£17k/$23k) fine would be enough punishment.

Simeone was fined the same amount by UEFA after the governing body concluded that his controversial celebration constituted "improper conduct", but the Atleti coach escaped a touchline ban.

Simeone was found to have violated Article 11.2 of UEFA's Disciplinary Regulations - engaging in conduct that is "insulting or otherwise violates the basic rules of decent conduct" - and Ronaldo's mimicry of the Argentine's behaviour means that he too has been found in breach.

Juve boss Allegri dismissed the idea that Ronaldo should have been banned, insisting that it was "just a celebration".

"Absolutely not," he said. "I think everyone celebrated their own way on the field and in the stands. I saw nothing strange, just a celebration. There won't be a ban."