Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said he could understand Buffon’s fury and called for the introduction of the use of VAR in the Champions League — it is already used in the Serie A in Italy.
“The referee did not understand anything, and tonight the least happy person of all should be him,” said Agnelli.
Benatia, whose challenge led to the penalty, said: “It’s unbelievable that our captain isn’t allowed to speak to the referee -– the red card was very harsh.”
But former Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero said: “When Gigi spoke about the referee, I found it hard to understand, honestly.”
“That’s how football is and you analyse the moment, whether it’s nice or ugly.
“I think in a few days he’ll say different things about the referee than what he said.”
– ‘Stolen dream’ –
Buffon’s dismissal generated a storm back home with La Stampa, based in Juve’s city of Turin, lamenting “the beauty of football, and its cruelty”.
“(The penalty) ruined everything, including Buffon’s farewell to the Champions League. The dream was stolen, the achievement cannot be reached. It hurts to go out like this.”
“It hurts badly, very badly,” agreed Italian daily Corriere della Sera. “Juventus deserved more, much more, at least extra-time.”
“The rage and the pride,” was the headline in Gazzetta dello Sport, caling it “a night of regrets”.
“Every referee knows that there are times when whistling has a different weight, and therefore only the most obvious fouls are punished,” wrote Gazzetta, claiming that Oliver “was not up to the challenge”.
Tuttosport said it was “an undeserved ending — just as Buffon doesn’t deserve to end his career in Europe with a red card.”
After the frustration, Buffon — who had said this season would be his final one — must turn his attention to winning a seventh straight Serie A title with Juventus, and completing the double with the Italian Cup.
Next up is a Serie A game against Sampdoria on Sunday with a potential title decider against Napoli on April 22, and the Italian Cup final against AC Milan on May 9.
And there remains another record which could prove a lure for Buffon to continue his club career — Paolo Maldini’s record for Serie A appearances.
Buffon has played 635 times in Italy’s top flight, but with seven games remaining this season he would fall short of former AC Milan defender Maldini’s record of 647.