Less than a year after Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Juventus in a record-expensive contract, his Uruguayan colleague and Madrid rival, Diego Godin, joined Milan’s Inter as a free agent after his Atletico Madrid contract expired – a development leading the two football stars to face off, this time on Italian soil.
When asked by Gazzetta dello Sport how difficult Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, can be to contain, he replied by arguing it’s “not a technical issue but one in the head”. “The concentration”, he shot back. “For 90 minutes you can't give up for a second, because that's the one second that's enough for him to score”, he further explained.
Ronaldo and Godin most recently faced off in the last 16 of the 2018-19 Champions League in March, when Juventus took on Atletico, with the latter leading after the first game. Coach Diego Simeone hit the headlines at the time when, in a state of agitation, he showed the world a crotch-grabbing spectacle on the touchline.
Shortly afterwards, Ronaldo offered a flamboyant response during a return date in Turin, as he netted a stunning hat-trick. But when it comes to celebrations, Godin believes the Portuguese superstar crossed a line in terms of professionalism and respect for colleagues and football fans, as he imitated Simeone’s move and made a “cojones” gesture.
In comments to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Rojiblancos player stated, as cited by Goal:
“Il Cholo [Simeone] turned to his audience, the tension led him to make that gesture, he didn't have it with Juve”, going on to mention Ronaldo:
“Ronaldo's gesture was different, he didn't respect people”.
This is not the first time that Godin has accused Ronaldo of behaving in an inappropriate way.
The Portuguese forward once punched him during a derby game between Real and Rojiblancos, with Godin adding: “What happens on the pitch remains on the field. And I don't talk about it. But I don't like it when you lack respect”.