Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon may be enemies on the field, but off the pitch they have great respect for each other, as was proved when the Real Madrid superstar came across the Juventus goalkeeper after the match.
The pair are among some of the greatest players of our generation, and have always spoken very highly of each other. However, on Wednesday night, their relationship was tested after Ronaldo's late spot-kick eliminated Buffon's Italian side from the UEFA Champions League.
The 40-year-old goalkeeper did not take referee Michael Oliver's decision to award a 93rd minute penalty lightly, and was sent off for dissent. Later, he went into a furious rant, saying Oliver has a "garbage bin" instead of a heart.
Buffon, though, seemed to have calmed down when Ronaldo came through the mixed zone to stop and interrupt one of his interviews. The players gave each other a hug and exchanged a few words, with the Los Blancos talisman consoling his counterpart.
"I am sorry," Ronaldo said to Buffon (translated from Spanish), as reported by realtotal.
Ronaldo later praised Buffon as one of football's greats, and added that he hopes the Bianconeri's dramatic Champions League exit was not the Italian's last Champions League appearance.
"I have a lot of respect for Buffon, the words he has said about me, and what I've said about him," Ronaldo told RTP, as cited by the Daily Metro.
"He is a great goalkeeper and I hope this is not his last Champions League appearance, he is one of the best goalkeepers ever."
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