It was cruel on Gianluigi Buffon when referee Michael Oliver signalled a penalty for Real Madrid in the dying minutes of injury time in Juventus' quarter final. It was cruel but it was the correct decision. The Bianconeri had valiantly clawed back a three goal deficit but after Medhi Benatia bundled over Lucas Vasquez in the box, a penalty was the right call.
Seeing his Champions League dream evaporate before his eyes, the Italian stopper and his team mates surrounded the ref and Buffon was justifiably sent off for dissent.
In the aftermath of Juventus' and Buffon's exit from the Champions League, the 40-year-old tore into Michael Oliver again, calling him an 'animal' accusing him of having a 'trashcan for a heart'.
In a press conference today, where Buffon announced his final Juventus game, the goalkeeper was asked about the decision again and while the World Cup winner admitted he will accept any ban that is given to him, he was still adamant he should not have seen red for his protestations:
I think it’s right. Not on the pitch, as the referee gave me a red card which I still don’t understand, and you rather than focusing on my comments, should look at behaviour from the official that was not really consistent.
As for his comments about Oliver off the pitch Buffon acknowledged that he 'crossed the line' with his comments:
I am extremely sorry about that, as over 23 years of Champions League career, I was never sent off or suspended, so I feel that I behaved fairly and in a sporting manner with everyone. It was a particular situation and a few days later I confessed the Buffon of that day, with the sentiments and feelings of that night, couldn't help but say those things.
Buffon went on to say that he told the media a few days later that he was sorry to have offended the referee because 'at the end of the day he is a human being who does a very difficult job', but the Italian's apology also had a dig at Oliver and his actions on the night:
If I'd seen him two days later, I'd have hugged Michael Oliver and apologised, but also said he could've been a bit calmer in such an important game for us and for me. Nothing more though.
A back handed apology if ever there was one. Can Buffon not just man up and say that he deserved to be sent off? The way he got in Michael Oliver's face following the penalty call was totally unwarranted and the Englishman was well within his right to give him his marching orders.
Buffon added that he is "not someone who carries rancour", but in light of this 'apology', it's clear that the Italian clearly still harbours resentment towards Oliver.