Buffon stands by Oliver rant

Gianluigi Buffon defended his extraordinary rant at referee Michael Oliver following his controversial decisions in Juventus’ Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid.

Juve had cancelled out a 3-0 deficit from the first leg when Oliver decided to award Los Blancos a stoppage-time penalty. Buffon was red-carded for his reaction and Cristiano Ronaldo slotted home from the spot.

In the aftermath, Buffon told Mediaset Premium that Oliver had “a garbage bin instead of a heart” and suggested that the match official would have been better off watching the game in the stands with his wife and some chips instead of refereeing it.

Even now, the Italian keeper refuses to backtrack, telling Le lene: “I don’t have to make up for anything, because I am a human being who puts passion, sentiment and anger into what I do.”

He even took another dig at Oliver, saying: “Even if I was excessive, I said what I thought, that he should not have given that penalty. A referee with more experience would not have blown his whistle and decided not to become the protagonist of the match.

“He would’ve left it running, turned around and let the two teams fight it out in extra time. Let the pitch do the talking.

“I’m sure Oliver will have a great career in future, but he’s too young to officiate a match like that. The beauty, the imponderable nature of football, means that unfortunately this young man found himself in a situation that was too complex, too garbled and too big for him to deal with.”

Even after watching a replay of Medhi Benatia’s challenge on Lucas Vazquez, which led to the penalty, Buffon has not seen enough to change his mind, although he bizarrely conceded that it wasn’t clear Vazquez wasn’t fouled.

He said: “It wasn’t a situation where you could say ‘That is definitely a penalty.’ I’m not saying it wasn’t a penalty, I am saying it was a dubious situation.

“In a game like that, 20 seconds from the end, a dubious situation is not going to be enough for an experienced referee to transform everything. In my view, an experienced referee would make a different evaluation.”

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