Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero has admitted he 'struggled to understand' former teammate Gianluigi Buffon's controversial post-match comments about referee Michael Oliver on Wednesday evening.
In the dying moments of Juventus' Champions League quarter final second leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, Oliver awarded the hosts a late penalty, which Cristiano Ronaldo converted to send Los Blancos through to the Champions League semi finals with a 4-3 aggregate victory.
Buffon, who is expected to retire at the end of the season, made several derogatory comments in the direction of Oliver and may face disciplinary action from UEFA for his comments.
Alessandro Del Piero, who also played for Juventus and the Italian national team, believes emotion got the better of Buffon and claimed that the 40-year-old goalkeeper will have kinder words for the referee in the coming days.
“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,” Del Piero told Sky Italia (via the Telegraph).
So, Buffon pushed referee Michael Oliver in the back and called him a “bastardo”, prompting the red card. Buffon later went on Spanish radio calling Oliver a “murderer” for making those (correct) decisions. Anyone still defending Buffon needs to have a good look at themselves.— Jacqui Oatley (@JacquiOatley) April 13, 2018
Del Piero is referring to controversial comments Buffon made about Michael Oliver to media after the game, it's fair to say the Italian legend was devastated with the decision the English referee had made.
“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," Buffon told Mediaset Premium (via the Mirror) after the match.
“You cannot ruin the dreams of a team. I could’ve told the referee anything at that moment, but he had to understand the degree of the disaster he was creating.
"If you can’t handle the pressure and have the courage to make a decision, then you should just sit in the stands and eat your crisps.”
According to the Mirror, Buffon also referred to Michael Oliver as a 'murderer' in a separate post-match interview with Spanish radio.