Furious Buffon Slams Ref For Late Penalty Call
Furious Gianluigi Buffon Slams Referee For Late Penalty Call
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon slammed match official Michael Oliver for his controversial penalty call before Cristiano Ronaldo's converted spot-kick sent Real Madrid into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
Click through the mini-gallery above to see images of the controversial foul and Ronaldo's penalty.
The Serie A leaders put on a heroic performance and were on the brink of extra-time after two goals by Mario Mandzukic and another by Blaise Matuidi equalled Los Blancos' 3-0 win in Italy.
However, a penalty was awarded when Mehdi Benatia fouled Lucas Vazquez inside the box in the 93rd minute, and Ronaldo converted the spot-kick to send his side into their eighth successive Champions League semi-final.
"It was a 10th of a penalty," Buffon, who was sent off by Oliver for his protestations, told Mediaset Premium, as cited by Football Italia.
"I know the referee saw, it was certainly a dubious incident. 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."
Despite being visibly upset, Buffon congratulated Real on going through before expressing how proud he is of his teammates.
"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," he added.
"We started out knowing full well we had 0.0000005% 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."
Real joined Bayern Munich, Liverpool and AS Roma in the Champions League semi-final, with the draw therefor taking place on Friday.
Do you think it was the right decision to award the penalty? Have your say in the comments section below.