Former Barcelona player, Gary Lineker, has slammed Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus for insulting referee Michael Oliver and his wife during Real Madrid Champions League quarter final second leg at the Bernabeu.
Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo received death threats and became the subject of a massive online hate campaign after he turned down a succession of four Chelsea penalty appeals - three of them were clear - during the second leg of the semi-final. Mehdi Benatia's challenge on Lucas Vazquez, from behind, was a clumsy attempt to stop the Spaniard finishing from five yards. The Italian goalkeeper is well spoken, respectful and shows objectivity in a game where few are able to detach themselves from the football hyperbole.
Arguing with the referee is necessarily an offence in the rules; Buffon, bawling and pawing at Oliver, had to go.
However, Buffon has said he would take the same actions again.
Calls have been growing for Juventus and above all Buffon to apologise for their very harsh language in the wake of the penalty decision, encouraging their pseudo fans to calm down.
I feel sorry for Michael Oliver.
"I am definitely sorry about that but I also know that I wasn't dealing with a person with a lot of awareness of feelings otherwise he wouldn't have made two big mistakes in the space of two minutes".
Tuttosport, a paper based in Juventus' home city of Turin, said it was "an undeserved ending - just as Buffon doesn't deserve to end his career in Europe with a red card".
Coincidentally, Oliver's first time officiating a Serie A side was Juve's 2-1 win against Sporting Lisbon in October 2017, in which he booked two players on each side.
Playing what many believe was his last UEFA Champions League encounter Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon couldn't hold back his emotions, saying that he regrets leaving the way he did. His manager, Max Allegri, insisted that his reaction was "understandable" and most will agree.
By refusing to walk back his previous comments, Buffon has missed a chance to set the kind of example Conn is hoping for.
"If you do that then you are an animal, you have rubbish in place of a heart".
The veteran did not stop there and although he conceded Real Madrid deserved to progress he continued to vent his fury over the decision. You can't say he's made a mistake.
At loggerheads a matter of minutes earlier, it seems that the mutual respect between Buffon and Ronaldo had returned to the fore just in time for the pair to share a thoroughly respectful postmatch hug.
"I think sitting from home without tension, not taking into account the psychological situation Buffon was going through, isn't really fair". The state of the game or the players involved are irrelevant.