Juventus Legends Criticise Gianluigi Buffon's Referee Outburst

Aubrey Yates
April 15, 2018

Despite losing the first leg of their quarterfinal with Real Madrid 3-0, the Bianconeri had fought back to level the tie last night, before Cristiano Ronaldo's last-minute penalty sent them out.

Real Madrid will now play Bayern Munich, Liverpool or AS Roma in the semi-final after Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and converted the penalty, beating substitute 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny in the 97th minute.

Juve players furiously protested the decision, with goalkeeper Buffon receiving a red card, and the 40-year-old pulled no punches in his assessment of the official.

"It was a 10th of a penalty. a human being can not destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation", he told Italian broadcaster Mediaset Premium.

"A human being can not whistle for an incident so doubtful after a game like that, unless you have a garbage bin instead of a heart".

"If you do not have personality and courage, you should go to the stands to watch the match with your wife and with a Sprite". I don't understand why he talked about the previous fixture. Something like that makes you go out of your mind.

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However, former EPL referee Graham Poll said Oliver was courageous enough in making the right call in both instances.

"The reaction of the referee was double, giving a red card to Buffon then means you haven't prepared the game properly". Unfortunately for Michael Oliver, in his biggest game to date, this was not the case.

Buffon launched an extraordinary rant against Oliver in a post-match interview, but there has also been a more sinister side to the fall-out.

Buffon had to be restrained by his teammates before reluctantly leaving the pitch, marring what could have been his finest night as he had been given an ovation by the Bernabeu crowd after half-time. There had been a feeling at the Bernabeu that this might be his year, too: he had made a number of saves, marshalled his defence and kept Real Madrid at bay throughout.

"It was all moving so quickly that I didn't realise the ball had crossed the line", Buffon claimed after the match "But even if I had realised, I certainly wouldn't have helped the referee".

Gianluigi Buffon has lived through all of football's highs and lows, from winning the World Cup with Italy to getting relegated with Juventus because of a match-fixing scandal. "He's been an enormous player". But in this instance it provided a penalty kick to Madrid and near certain Champions League elimination for Juventus. Two years before, he ended his worldwide career after losing his place in Germany's goal to Jens Lehmann ahead of the World Cup.

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