VIDEO: Angel Di Maria denies 'Michael Jackson crotch gesture' was aimed at Real Madrid supporters
The club have started an investigation into the incident
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.
Sergio Ramos and the 'crotch-grabbing' King of Pop
Latest in Sport
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Manchester United? 'My next move will be a surprise' says PSG striker
Ashes 2015 live: Latest score and updates with Australia on the brink of humiliating defeat after Jimmy Anderson claims David Warner wicket
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: Steve Finn claims five wickets as England close in on beating Australia in third Test inside three days at Edgbaston
Mario Balotelli told he has no future at Liverpool as striker trains away from first-team
- 1 Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May officially heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
- 2 Stuart Baggs: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 3 As the world mourned the death of Cecil the lion, five endangered elephants were killed in Kenya
- 4 How to cancel Amazon Prime: after Top Gear hiring, how to leave premium service
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Government is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains