The Juventus and Italy legend Alessandro Del Piero has today voiced his concerns for the behaviour that marred last night's incredible Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Juventus.
Although few had contemplated the possibility that this quarter-final second-leg would be competitive, that an injury-time winner from Cristiano Ronaldo was required to put Real through caught many by surprise.
With Real leading 3-0 from the opening night in Turin, the prospect of Juventus overturning such a deficit in Madrid appeared ludicrous. As such, preparations were made for what would surely be Gianluigi Buffon's final appearance in the tournament. Having already announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, the 40-year-old was to be afforded a dignified exit.
While few would claim that the realised manner of his departure will sully his immaculate reputation, the nature of Buffon's sending-off, and the post-match criticism he would direct toward referee Michael Oliver, have left a sour taste for some.
Among those concerned are Buffon's former club and international teammate, Del Piero.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia regarding the 'keeper's outburst, Del Piero admitted finding it "difficult ... to understand him honestly."
Confused as to why Buffon would make reference to the first-leg of the tie, citing that "football is like that, we analyse the present moment," Del Piero is certain that "in a few days, Buffon will have different words to say to the referee."
By no means the first to openly criticise Buffon's decision to deride Oliver for what were two perfectly executed decisions, the forthright nature of Del Piero's concern does not necessarily tarry with the more sympathetic response Buffon's dismissal garnered amongst certain other ex-pros, and the relative brushing off of his comments afterward.
Held in high-regard for his sportsmanlike conduct and warm nature, it will be interesting to discover whether Buffon acts as Del Piero predicts, and reconsider the belittling remarks made about Oliver.