Juventus official Beppe Marotta and Italy boss Cesare Prandelli have defended Gigi Buffon from the criticism of Franz Beckenbauer.
The German legend referred to the goalkeeper as a ‘pensioner’ after his failure to keep out David Alaba’s effort in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win on Tuesday.
“Certain statements from an icon like Beckenbauer can hurt,” director general Marotta commented on Thursday.
“They touch another icon who is named Buffon, a player who has given great satisfaction to not just Juventus fans with his performances, but also those of the national side.
“Additionally, he is a special man, a great professional full of humanity and someone who is seen as an example by youngsters.
“He should be respected.”
Buffon, 35, refused to hit back at the Honorary Bayern President last night, instead opting to apologise to his teammates and the club’s supporters.
“He responded well with great balance and irony,” the Italy tactician commented. “He’ll show his maturity with his reaction on the field of play.
“Besides, pensioners are wise people…”
Juventus entertain Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.