Wednesday April 11 2018
Buffon: 'Ref heartless'

Juventus captain Gigi Buffon continued his furious attack on referee Michael Oliver. “You’d have to be an animal to do that, have a trash can in place of a heart.”

The Bianconeri had wiped out a 3-0 first leg defeat at home, leading 3-0 at the Bernabeu and 30 seconds away from forcing the Champions League quarter-final into extra time when a penalty was awarded for a Medhi Benatia nudge on Real Madrid man Lucas Vazquez.

Buffon was sent off for dissent in what is probably his final Champions League appearance and Cristiano Ronaldo converted the penalty.

“I leave here with a memorable match, seeing 18 warriors with the desire to sweat buckets and put in a stratospheric performance,” a visibly agitated Buffon told Sky Sport Italia.

“Only Juve players can do that. I am pleased that we leave with our heads held high and won back some pride for Italian football. I also compliment Roma for their achievements, as I was moved by their comeback to knock out Barcelona and hope they go all the way to win the trophy.

“Tomorrow I will be cheering on Lazio in the Europa League quarter-final, as we must show signs of Italian football coming back.”

What did Buffon say to the referee in order to get a straight red card?

“Nothing strange. The referee lost the plot, I accept that. I won’t accept that a referee is in charge of a game like this with two such high-profile teams and doesn’t have the character, courage or ability to make calm decisions.

“He was clearly unprepared. Giving a penalty like that, after a memorable match, sending off someone who has never been red carded for dissent in his life in my final game is simply not acceptable.

“If you do that, then you are an animal, you have a trash can in place of a heart. We did something epic this evening and the performance was heroic.

“I have unbridled pride at being captain of these lads.”

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