Is this an offensive act or merely a "natural movement"?
Angel Di Maria has apologised if his 'crotch grabbing' gesture, likened to a Michael Jackson dance move, caused offence to any Real Madrid supporters. He also denied that it was done deliberately as he left the pitch to apparent jeers from the Bernabeu crowd when he was substituted for Gareth Bale in the 64-minute of Real’s 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Tuesday.
The incident has caused a stir in Spain, with reports of the Argentine's unhappiness at being on the periphery of the Real side, but the winger has rubbished these claims, saying that it just a “ natural movement” which was not aimed at the fans.
“I made a normal gesture when I was going off. I did not want to do anything aimed at the fans or the manger either like people were saying,” Di Maria claimed.
“It was a natural movement which all men make especially when you are running. You do it a lot on the pitch.
“The truth is that if anyone was offended by it I apologise, but it is like I have said. I made a natural movement which was not aimed at anyone in particular. On the TV you can see that it is a fraction of a second. It is nothing.”
The 25-year-old will still have to explain himself to Real officials, however, who have started an investigation into the incident.
“I think it is the right thing to do. Not just for them, who have started the investigation, but also for me as it means I can explain the situation and what happened.
"I think it is good as I can talk to them directly and explain what happened on the pitch."
His team-mate, the defender Sergio Ramos has seen the funny side, mocking the gesture by posting a picture on Twitter of himself posing next to picture of the most famous crotch grabber of them all, the 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson.