Simeone has been an iconic figure with the club from the Spanish capital, leading them through a golden era in which they have twice won La Liga and have reached two Champions League finals. His 11-year tenure at the club, though, could come to an ugly end if Ronaldo signs and the supporters have their way.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has proven to be a divisive figure at Atleti – despite the transfer links with the club being little more than rumours at present. President Enrique Cerezo spoke of the potential for a deal earlier this week and said it would be “practically impossible” for the 37-year-old to move to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico Madrid’s Ronaldo protests
Nevertheless, with suitors for Ronaldo looking thin on the ground and the Portuguese apparently so intent on leaving Old Trafford that he asked Man Utd to tear up his contract, Atleti fans have launched a succession of protests against the move.
These started online with a #ContraCR7 campaign on Twitter and continued with an open letter from the supporters to the club in which they claimed Ronaldo “represents the antithesis of the values that constitute the hallmarks of our Atleti, such as effort, generosity, simplicity and humility”.
During a friendly against Numancia, meanwhile, fans held up an anti-Ronaldo banner behind the goal – and threatened Simeone with the sack.
“Simeone, Simone, listen to the fans,” they chanted. “If you sign Cristiano, you will go to the wall.”