JUVENTUS boss Massimiliano Allegri has defended Gianluigi Buffon after the veteran’s extraordinary outburst at Michael Oliver after the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.
Buffon, 40, was sent off after going into a blind rage when Los Blancos were awarded a controversial last-minute penalty in their quarter-final second-leg clash, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s resulting goal sending Juve spiralling out of Europe.
The veteran goalie, playing in his final Champions League match, was sent to the stands by Oliver and later said the English ref had a “bag of rubbish” for a heart.
Buffon’s uncharacteristic outburst also saw Oliver’s wife Lucy come under attack from outraged fans on social media.
But Allegri believes Buffon was justified with his criticism of the decision, explaining: “For over 20 years, Gianluigi Buffon has been a role model both on and off the pitch.
“If on one occasion he said the things he did, in a situation as tough as Wednesday night’s, that is understandable and I challenge anyone to react differently.
“It’s always easy to judge from the outside. The ref had a very good game for 90 minutes, he really did. He then slightly lost his way at the end, but these things can happen.
“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.”
But Real boss Zinedine Zidane was less forgiving, adding: “When people talk about it being a robbery I get angry – it is clear what we are doing annoys a lot of people.
“There are people that are anti-Real Madrid, but nobody is going to change that. Nobody can change the history of this club, what it has achieved.
“We are the best club in the world and when you’re the best club in the world, there is a certain degree of jealousy.
“To be honest I think it is disgraceful, upsetting and deceptive. Anyone who says it was a robbery, I really don’t agree.”