Buffon: Referee has a trash can for a heart

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Referee Michael Oliver shows Juventus' goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon the red card.
  • Post published:April 12, 2018

Referee Michael Oliver drew the ire of Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon after his dismissal in a Champions League exit against Real Madrid.

Buffon described referee Michael Oliver as having a ‘trash can’ for a heart after awarding a controversial penalty that saw Real Madrid progress to the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Juventus.

Buffon was dismissed for his furious reaction towards Oliver after the English official pointed to the spot following Medhi Benatia’s clumsy challenge on Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez.

Juve had drawn level on aggregate with a stirring comeback from a 3-0 first leg loss in Turin only for Cristiano Ronaldo to step up after a long delay to smash the penalty home and send the holders through.

Buffon – expected to retire at the end of the season – was left fuming with Oliver’s decision to give a penalty, with Juve also feeling they should have had a spot-kick for a foul on Juan Cuadrado in the first leg.

‘It was a 10th of a penalty,’ Buffon told Premium Sport. ‘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 their 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 trash can. 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.

‘He should have seen what happened in the opening tie. It’s a controversial, super controversial decision taken by a person who should have not refereed the game because of lack of personality and sensibility.

‘You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. 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.’

Replays were inconclusive on the extent of Benatia’s contact on Vazquez, with the defender protesting his innocence.

‘I can promise you, I did not push him,’ said Benatia. ‘He went down because he had nothing else to do at that point.

‘Giving a penalty like that at the 93rd minute is simply absurd.

‘Bayern Munich had the exact same thing last year [against Real Madrid]. What can you do?’

Photo: Kiko Huesca/Backpagepix

-This story originally appeared on FourFourTwo.co.za