Former Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero criticises Gianluigi Buffon for reaction to Michael Oliver red card
The former Juventus playmaker Alessandro Del Piero has criticised Gianluigi Buffon’s reaction to being sent off by English referee Michael Oliver in the Champions League quarter-final second leg against Real Madrid for protesting the award of an injury-time penalty.
Buffon gave extensive interviews after the game including saying that Oliver had a “rubbish bin where his heart should be” and claiming that he was not fit to referee the game. Although Buffon, 40, is expected to retire in the summer he may yet face Uefa disciplinary action with the governing body still to receive all the reports from the match officials.
Del Piero said that Buffon may come to reflect differently on Oliver’s decisions to award a penalty against Mehdi Benatia and then dismiss Buffon for the aggression of his protests.
Del Piero told Sky Italia: “When [Buffon] spoke about the referee, I struggled to understand him. I believe that in a few days he will say different things about the referee from what he said (on Wednesday night).”
Juventus won the game 3-1 after Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty, losing the tie 4-3 and there could yet be repercussions for the players who surrounded Oliver. The 33-year-old English referee was clearly pushed and responded with the red card to Buffon.
Ronaldo, who headed the ball down for Lucas Vazquez, who was then fouled by Benatia, said the decision had been correct. "Why are the Juve players complaining? It was just a penalty. Lucas would score if he was not pushed over. During the game, Benatia and the rest of the Juve players kicked us from behind all the time. That's how they play.”
Uefa are understood to be pleased with Oliver’s performance, although there has been no official word yet from the governing body’s head of referees Pierluigi Collina.