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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.

Spurs announce first match at White Hart Lane

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Tottenham Hotspur’s first match at its new stadium will be held on April 3, and its second will be an occasion to match it (or pass it).

[ MORE: FA Cup semifinal draw ]

Spurs host Crystal Palace for their long-awaited debut at the new White Hart Lane, six days before hosting Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

The crowd will be massive, but the extent of Spurs’ home field advantage over City will be training sessions and a single match.

Tottenham Hotspur will play its last league game in Wembley Stadium

United confident of beating Barca, winning Champions League

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Many would say Manchester United drew the short straw when they were handed Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw on Friday.

[ MORE: What draw means for PL ]

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Red Devils aren’t thinking like that. At all.

Speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup quarterfinal clash at Wolves on Saturday, United’s caretaker manager revealed that his side have no fear and believe they can beat Lionel Messi and Co. to set up a potential UCL semifinal with bitter rivals Liverpool.

“We’ve shown against PSG that on any given day we can beat a top team,” Solskaer said. “Then again there’s so many variables and these games will be decided by margins. And of course with [our] VAR [decision], even though for me it’s a penalty, you can still be unlucky and not get it in the last minute. Then we’d be out and no one would really remember the PSG performance. So yes, we can go all the way but you’ve got to be lucky and good along the way. The confidence in the players, it’s sky high. And the mood is good, the training attitude is good, so hopefully we can keep that run going.”

With the confidence sky high and United fresh from securing massive away wins at Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and PSG in various competitions, Solskjaer and his players may not see going to the Nou Camp for the second leg as a problem.

When the draw was made, United were scheduled to play the second leg at home but that has been switched due to themselves and Man City not being able to play UCL home games on back to back days in Manchester.

UEFA had already stated that crosstown rivals Man City would not have their fixture changed as they finished one place above United in the Premier League last season, so United will now host Barca in the first leg and then head to the Nou Camp for the second.

Solskjaer is just fine with that, as the Nou Camp was the scene of his dramatic 90th minute winner for United in the 1999 UCL final against Bayern Munich.

“I’ve had so many texts from friends saying this year is going to be the year that we’ll get through because of my [shirt] number, 20, and it being 20 years ago,” Solskjaer said. “We’re off to the Nou Camp again – it was the biggest night I’ve had in football. Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night. It’s a great stadium.”

If United can somehow stay within one goal of Barcelona after the first leg, it will be a job well done. Messi and Suarez can rip any team apart, but there is a feeling that United could get at Barcelona’s midfield and defense.

Solskjaer has already shown he is adept at setting United up to counter ruthlessly away from home, and with Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and others in full flow, nobody, even Barca, will really want to play them right now.