Diego Simeone has apologised for his gesture when Atletico Madrid scored against Juventus but explained ‘it came from my heart’.
The controversial celebration occurred when Atleti netted their opening in Wednesday night’s 2-0 victory in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg.
“We had put in a great performance against Borussia Dortmund. We got important players back like Koke and Costa, we were able to play an intelligent game against a huge team with very strong players,” Simeone explained to Sky Sport Italia.
“We had to make the most of every situation we could get. It’s a very good result.
“We know that we are facing a great team, a great club and great champions in Turin. We fully expect to suffer in the second leg.
“My celebration (clutching crotch area)? I did it as a player in Lazio-Bologna and I did it again to show our fans that we have cojones. It wasn’t aimed at the other team, I was turning towards our own supporters.
“It’s not a nice gesture, I 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.”