Diego Simeone throws unprovoked shade at Cristiano Ronaldo
Atletico Madrid weren't at their best in a 1-0 win against Real Betis on Saturday, and their fans let them hear it. Still, a win is a win and Atletico need all the points they can get.
Atletico didn't show out in the match, but manager Diego Simeone was quick to defend his team. Performances aren't the issue when it comes to paying, it's the result that matters. Interestingly, he used Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo to drive home his point.
When asked about the importance of results vs. performance, here's what Simeone had to say, via Marca: "Is there any doubt about that?" he replied. "Look at who won the Ballon d'Or."
Ronaldo, of course, just won the Ballon d'Or for the fourth time in his career a month ago. It's tough to follow Simeone's exact train of thought for the dig, but it certainly seems like he's implying Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or based on the strength of his collective teams' results.
The two biggest results Ronaldo racked up in 2016 were a Champions League title with Real and a Euro 2016 crown with Portugal. But Ronaldo was fairly anonymous in the UCL triumph and left the Euro final against France early with an injury, which Simeone may be referring to. (On the flip side, the argument could be made that both of those squads wouldn't have even sniffed those respective finals if not for Ronaldo's influence in the preceding matches.)
It's worth noting that Ronaldo's victory in the Champions League final came against Simeone and Atletico. Ronaldo also rolled up a hat trick in the most recent Madrid derby, so perhaps El Cholo is still just salty. Or, maybe Simeone genuinely feels Lionel Messi (or more likely his own striker, Antoine Griezmann) deserved the award.
Either way, the comments seemed very curious and unnecessary — but banter is what the beautiful game is all about, right?