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No regrets for Buffon over referee rant


Milan (AFP) – Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon insists he has no regrets about his outburst against the referee who awarded the late penalty that put Real Madrid into the Champions League semi-finals.

“I’d say them all again. Maybe with a different type of language, one that was more civilised, let’s say. But the content remains and I stand by all of it,” Buffon told Italian television programme “Le Iene”.

Buffon was sent off for dissent in the final minute of the quarter-final, second leg in Madrid after confronting English referee Michael Oliver over his decision to award the hosts a penalty in time added-on. 

The 40-year-old has come under fire for his post-match rant in which he called Oliver “a murderer” with “a rubbish bin” in place of a heart.

“I have to defend my teammates and fans, even in a not very composed fashion. I had to let that out, even if it damaged my reputation.

“You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive, but this is me, I am Gigi Buffon,” he continued.

Buffon said his words were of “a man who won’t hide behind a veil of hypocrisy and instead throws out what is bubbling in his guts. End of story.”

And the Italian legend said he still believes that 33-year-old referee Oliver lacked experience.

“A referee with more experience would not have blown his whistle and decided not to become the protagonist of the match. He would have left it running, turned around and let the two teams fight it out in extra time. Let the pitch do the talking.

“I’m sure Oliver will have a great career in future, but he’s too young to officiate a match like that.”

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