Juventus' coach Max Allegri has come out in defence of his goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, after the player launched into a furious rant at referee Michael Oliver, following Wednesday's Champions League quarter final against Real Madrid.
After angrily remonstrating at Oliver's decision to award a penalty against Juventus in the dying stages of the game, Buffon was shown a red card. Los Blancos' Cristiano Ronaldo then made matters worse, dispatching the penalty comfortably and sending Juventus out of the competition.
However, as Allegri spoke to the media during Juve's latest press conference, he was quick to give his support to Buffon, saying 'I challenge anyone not to react in that situation'.
Allegri said (via Football Italia): "It’s always easy to judge from the outside. With regards to Buffon, Gigi has been an example for 20 years of what a man should be both on and off the pitch.
"If just once, in one difficult and complicated situation, because we were 30 seconds away from extra time – and we’re not saying we would’ve qualified, just had the chance to play extra time – the referee made this decision.
"I don’t know if it was correct or not, I don’t care, but Buffon was also sent off and therefore denied the opportunity to save the Cristiano Ronaldo penalty… Gigi’s reaction is to be understood."
In recent days, Buffon has found himself on the receiving end of widespread criticism from worldwide press. And, Allegri was keen to give his thoughts on this:
"I think sitting from home without tension, not taking into account the psychological situation Buffon was going through, isn’t really fair.
“Those who aren't capable of understanding Gigi's state of mind at that moment need a course in psychology, otherwise I can't help them."
Following on from their Champions League exit at the hands of Madrid, Juventus' focus turns towards domestic matters, with their next outing a home game against Sampdoria on Sunday evening.
Currently sitting at the top of Serie A on 81 points, with Napoli just 4 points behind them in second place, Juve are looking for another victory as they edge closer to their seventh straight Scudetto title.