Wednesday April 11 2018
Buffon: 'Ref out of his depth'

Gigi Buffon said the referee was completely out of his depth in Real Madrid-Juventus and should “sit in the stands eating crisps.”

The Bianconeri lost the first leg 3-0 with Paulo Dybala sent off, came back to lead 3-0 at the Bernabeu and were 30 seconds away from extra time when Real Madrid were awarded a soft penalty.

“It was a tenth of a penalty,” the captain told Mediaset Premium.

“I know the referee saw what he saw, but it was certainly a dubious incident. Not clear-cut. And a dubious incident at the 93rd minute when we had a clear penalty denied in the first leg, you cannot award that at this point.

“The team gave its all, but a human being cannot destroy dreams like that at the end of an extraordinary comeback on a dubious situation.

“Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a garbage bin. On top of that, if you don’t have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, drinking your Sprite and eating crisps.

“You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could’ve told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating. If you can’t handle the pressure and have the courage to make a decision, then you should just sit in the stands and eat your crisps.”

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli called for the introduction of VAR in the Champions League.

“You can have 18 officials, but it’s an issue of sensitivity. You have to have watched the first leg and what happened there, then on a similar incident in the second leg give a penalty at the 93rd minute…” continued Buffon.

“Real Madrid deserved to go through over the two legs, I wish them the best and it has always been an honour for me to face this club, but objectively we at least deserved to go to extra time tonight.

“We started out knowing full well we had 0.0000005 per cent chance of doing it. But I am so truly proud to be part of a team that would play like this, work so hard and give everything. I am proud to be with this group of men.

“Naturally, there is regret and, well, anger.”

Juventus had seemed doomed after a 3-0 first leg defeat, but had turned it around.

“The result of the first leg gave normal teams not the slightest chance of dreaming of a comeback. The truth is that we are men of sport, we know how to face games with a consistent advantage and there is the risk of being superficial or laissez-faire. We played on that and gave absolutely everything we had.”

Gary Lineker noted that sending off Buffon in what could well be his final Champions League match was like shooting Bambi.

“I thank Lineker for what he wrote, but as I said, it’s an issue of sensitivity. It means you don’t know where you are, what teams are facing off, what players are involved. It means you’ve understood absolutely **** all.

“It disappointed me to leave the boys with 10 men, but I said objectively Real Madrid deserved the victory, we shake their hands and move on.

“We will be furious when stepping on to the pitch in Serie A this weekend. Furious.”

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