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Ronaldo learns fine for mocking Simeone with groin grab

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Diego Simeone was fined around $23,000 for his groin-centered celebrations when Atletico Madrid beat Juventus in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie, and now Cristiano Ronaldo has been nipped the same fee for the same gesture.

Ronaldo’s came on the field following his hat trick, as Juve stormed back to thump Simeone’s Atleti and march on to the UCL quarterfinals.

[ MORE: Hazard, Real, and the back-up plan ]

Charged by UEFA earlier this week, Ronaldo has now learned his punishment. It’s almost $1000 more.

How will he afford it?!!?!?! He reportedly makes just under $700,000 per week.

To be fair, it couldn’t be exactly the same price, given the sentiment behind such a fine is that it’s mean to rile up a crowd. Ronaldo’s move would’ve been viewed as a slight at Simeone and hence just a bit more of an antagonistic one.

Mbappe, Neymar reportedly won’t try to leave PSG

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Two of the world’s brightest attacking stars look set to stay in Paris for another season, says ESPN.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar will not angle to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer despite big money interest from Real Madrid, who is in the market to spend big on some Galacticos to play with Vinicius Junior.

[ MORE: PL Player of Year candidates ]

The report says Financial Fair Play concerns will dictate a number of sales, with Giovani Lo Celso, Jese Rodriguez, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Thomas Meunier, Layvin Kurzawa, and Christopher Nkunku speculated as possible exits.

Meanwhile, AS reports that PSG is interested in Antoine Griezmann should it get a suitable bid for either Mbappe or Neymar.

It would make some sense for PSG. At 27, Neymar has been fabulous while healthy but has missed long stretches of each of the last two seasons with injury.

Les Parisiens could replace him with Griezmann, a French World Cup hero, who carries a $226 million release clause which AS says will not be negotiated by Atletico Madrid. How much more would Neymar cost Real than that? He went for around $254 million in 2017.

How much different will PSG look next year? Adrien Rabiot seems certain to leave the Parc des Princes, and Meunier is the only player mentioned by AS getting serious minutes under Thomas Tuchel.

What seems more likely is PSG sell its superfluous pieces and put a focus on developing its young players in Ligue 1 play with Neymar, Mbappe, Cavani, and Marco Verratti focusing their eyes on the Champions League

Ronaldo charged for mocking Simeone’s celebration

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It seems like Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to mock Diego Simeone’s questionable celebration will cost him.

Ronaldo has been charged with improper conduct by UEFA for his goal celebration during their huge comeback win against Atletico Madrid in Turin last week.

The former Real Madrid star, 34, scored a hat trick for Juventus in their 3-0 win against Atletico in the UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg last Tuesday.

That victory overturned a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, where Atletico’s manager Simeone celebrated by grabbing his genitals and later explaining the gesture was to praise his team for having “big balls” by battling past Juve. Simeone was then fined $24,000 by UEFA for “improper conduct” with his celebration.

Ronaldo mocked that celebration after scoring against Atletico (see the video above) a team he beat many times when playing for their bitter rivals Real Madrid during his nine years in the Spanish capital.

It is unlikely Ronaldo will be banned from Juventus’ Champions League quarterfinal clash with Ajax, but he will likely be fined by European soccer’s governing body.

Barcelona, Atleti set attendance record for women’s club game

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MADRID (AP) The Spanish league says that Sunday’s match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona has set a world record for the highest attendance at a women’s soccer club match.

The Spanish league says that 60,739 people turned out at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to see the hosts lose 2-0 to Barcelona.

[ MORE: Klopp dismisses Bayern talk ]

Barcelona cut two-time defending champion Atletico’s lead at the top of the standings to three points with six matches remaining.

The record for any women’s match was the 90,185 people who watched the 1999 World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl. At the 2012 Olympic final in London, 80,203 people saw the United States defeat Japan 2-1 to win the gold medal.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

La Liga: Real Madrid wins in Zidane’s return, Atletico stunned

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Zinedine Zidane returned to Real Madrid, and it was like he never left.

The Frenchman made sweeping changes in his first starting lineup, bringing Keylor Navas, Gareth Bale, Isco, and Marcelo all back into the 11 as Madrid stormed to a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu.

All four players had seen diminished playing time under Santiago Solari, blamed by fans and media for the team struggles, but Zidane gave them a reprieve, and it bore immediate fruit. Isco scored the opener in the 62nd minute to put Madrid up for good, and Bale put the game away 15 minutes later. The defense, meanwhile, held Celta Vigo to just one shot on target as they fall for the fifth time in their last six matches.

The win pulled third-placed Madrid within two points of cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid in second, an important result that preceded a shocking 2-0 loss by Atletico as they fell on the road at Athletic Bilbao. The game was scoreless – right in Atletico’s wheelhouse – until the 73rd minute when an awkward Atleti turnover in their own defensive third led to an Inaki Williams tap-in to break the deadlock. Kenan Kodro finished it off in the 85th minute and Atleti is now looking over its shoulder at Real Madrid just two back.

Meanwhile, a few places back, Alaves pulled within one point of a Champions League place as they topped Huesca 3-1 behind a brace from Jonathan Calleri. His opener in the 11th minute was cancelled out minutes later by Ezequiel Avila to make it 1-1, and the scoreline stayed there until the 80th minute. Substitute striker John Guidetti put Alaves up with 10 to go, and then Calleri bagged his brace six minutes later to put the game away.

Finally, Girona jumped Leganes in the table with a 2-0 win thanks to a double by Portu, continuing the club’s rise up the table. They had fallen as far as 16th, but a five-game stretch with three wins and a draw has brought them back up to 13th and within two points of a top-half spot.