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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.

Beckham dreams of bringing Ronaldo, Messi to MLS, Miami

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David Beckham is dreaming big for his Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

Really big.

Hot on the heels of announcing that he hopes Inter Miami CF will play at a revamped Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale for their first two seasons in MLS, Becks has been chatting about potential players he’d like to bring to MIA.

Here is what Beckham had to say via our partners at Sky Sports:

“Everyone has their wish list, everyone does, but if you look at the way Leo and Cristiano are still playing, even at what you might think is the later stage of their careers, I don’t see it ending for them,” Beckham said. “They’re playing at such a high level that it’s hard to see them leaving the clubs they are at, but we will see. You never know what can happen in football.”

Now, we all knew this kind of talk was coming. Beckham added Inter Miami are looking closely at players to sign and are speeding things up with just 12 months until their first MLS game.

Beckham’s name has a certain pull and if he is the co-owner of a franchise it is one for reason: to make it as successful and glamorous as possible. The fact he owns a team in Miami which will enter MLS in 2020 amplifies the glitz and glamour.

Would Ronaldo and/or Messi need a lot of convincing to head to Miami for the final few years of their careers? Probs not.

But it seems like Ronaldo would be a lot more attainable than Messi. At least right now, and especially when you factor in that his contract with Juventus is up in the summer of 2022.

That should line up perfectly with the timeframe for Miami’s proposed soccer-specific stadium deal in Freedom Park being ready for Ronaldo to call it home.

Because, let’s be honest, can you see one of these guys playing in front of 18,000 fans at a temporary home at Lockhart Stadium? Yeah, not going to happen.

Ronaldo is 34. Messi is 31. Who’s to say they both won’t play for Miami three years apart? Ronaldo has already said he wants to play until he is 40, and it is highly likely he will. As for Messi, he’s been a one-club man and it is unclear whether or not he will see much point in not playing for Barcelona his entire career.

With the Man United connection, Ronaldo heading to Miami to play for Beckham makes so much sense on so many levels.

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.

Messi speaks after 2-goal, 2-assist Champions League masterclass

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Neutrals and fans alike were quick to expect a big night from Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League after longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s Tuesday hat trick lifted Juventus into the quarterfinals.

They were not wrong.

[ RECAP: Barca 5-1 Lyon ]

Messi had two goals and two assists as Barcelona outlasted Lyon 5-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday after a scoreless first two weeks ago.

Asked about his massive performance coming on the heels of Ronaldo’s wonderful day, Messi didn’t bite hard.

Although he did have a word or two for La Liga rivals Atleti. From Marca:

“What Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus did was impressive,” Messi said. “I thought Atletico Madrid would be tougher. Ronaldo had a magical night with three goals.”

Messi says the club doesn’t have a preference for Friday’s draw.

“All of the opponents are complicated,” he said. “Ajax, for example, showed that they’re an amazing team of youngsters and they don’t fear anyone. It’ll be difficult no matter who we face.”

The win was Messi’s 476th in a Barcelona jersey, drawing him level with former teammate Xavi Hernandez for most in the club’s storied history.

The win came in 94 fewer matches, which is nice.

Hat trick hero Ronaldo preens: ‘This is why Juve brought me in’

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Cristiano Ronaldo knows that he’s becoming synonymous with the UEFA Champions League, and his hat trick for Juventus on Tuesday on served to reinforce that connection.

[ RECAP: Juve 3-0 (3-2 agg.) Atleti ]

“This is why Juve brought me in, to help on magic nights like this,” he said. “Atleti are a really tough team to face, but we are strong too and proved we deserved to go through.”

Atletico Madrid led 2-0 after the first leg, and Ronaldo scored all three goals of a 3-0 second leg win for Juventus in Turin to push his new club past his longtime rivals 3-2 on aggregate.

Here’s the man of the hour, undoubtedly one of the best players ever, via Football-Italia:

“It had to be a special night and it was, not just for the goals, but for the team and their incredible attitude. This is the mentality you need in the Champions League and we are on the right track.”

Still in Juventus’ way are Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Porto, Manchester United, Ajax, and two others.

Lyon-Barcelona and Bayern Munich-Liverpool are on tap Wednesday to complete the quarterfinals.