'He was insulted in Madrid' – Nedved defends Ronaldo amid rumours of Champions League ban

The one-time Bianconeri wide-man believes that his old club’s Portuguese superstar should avoid a sanction following his post-match gesture

Juventus director Pavel Nedved does not fear a ban for star forward Cristiano Ronaldo following his controversial celebration after the Serie A champions knocked Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League in Turin.

Juve lost the first leg of their last-16 tie with Atletico 2-0 in Madrid, after which the Liga side’s head coach, Diego Simeone, made a ‘cojones’ gesture in celebration.

And following the full-time whistle in Turin, Ronaldo – fresh from his match-winning hat-trick – made a similar gesture as he celebrated the result in a blatant dig at the Atletico head coach.

However, Nedved believes that his actions do not deserve a sanction and possible suspension.

“I don’t fear a ban,” he told Sky Sport Italia.  “It’s a gesture that should remain on the field. The emotions expressed on the pitch should remain there.

“He was insulted a lot in Madrid and also by the fans that came to our home. I understand it, so let’s go forward without any bans.

“We deserved to go through. We earned two more games in the Champions League, two games in the quarter-finals. It was a beautiful thing for them and our fans.” 

The former Czech Republich international was also keen to stress the importance of taking their quarter-final opponents Ajax seriously, having seen the Eredivisie outfit knock holders Real Madrid out of the tournament and subsequently end a period of dominance for Los Blancos, who had won an unparalleled three consecutive Champions League trophies.

“I’m neither happy nor unhappy. I think it’s going to be a beautiful tie. Ajax showed what they can do by putting out Real Madrid. It was no fluke; I enjoyed their performance a lot. We have to be very careful.

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“We now have to face Ajax with the same enthusiasm we had against Atletico. I’m very happy because I’m convinced they will be two beautiful games.”

If Juventus were to overcome Ajax in the quarter-finals, they would then face one of Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals.

In the other quarter-finals, Barcelona take on Manchester United and Liverpool face Porto.

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