FURIOUS Buffon Says Real Madrid Drama Made Him ‘Feel Alive’
JUVENTUS captain Gianluigi Buffon conceded yesterday that sometimes he gets it wrong but that the dramatic Champions League game against Real Madrid had made him feel alive.
The 40-year-old goalkeeper was sent-off by referee Michael Oliver after his furious reaction to a last-minute penalty at the Bernabeu Stadium which dumped Juventus out of the Champions League.
Deprived of what could likely be his last chance to lift the only major title missing from his collection the 2006 World Cup winner mercilessly blasted the referee after the game as “a murderer” for killing off Juventus’ dreams with “a rubbish bin” in place of a heart.
“The decisions we make are a way of defining ourselves and making us what we want to be,” Buffon said at a sponsors event in Turin yesterday.
“You can even go too far, sometimes getting it wrong. But that means you’re alive, and that’s why I came into the world.
“After the Bernabeu I went for long walks, mushrooms and daisies. It was a week that allowed me to experience strong emotions, beautiful, pure adrenaline.
“I also live for that.”
Italy icon Buffon has said this will be his last season and he announced his international retirement after Italy’s dramatic failure to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time in 60 years.
“Being captain of the national team is the greatest gift that life has given me,” said Buffon, who returned to play friendlies last month against England and Argentina with the Azzurri.
Juventus ― two-time losing finalists in the past three years ― bounced back from their Champions League disappointment with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday which puts them on the brink of a seventh consecutive Serie A title.
And Buffon praised 19-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma ― touted as his successor in the national team ― whose dramatic late save against Napoli could have handed Juventus the title.
“I sent him a nice congratulatory text for his save on (Arkadiusz) Milik at the end,” Buffon added.
Meanwhile, Italian referees’ chief Marcello Nicchi criticised Buffon earlier Monday for his post-match rant.
“Buffon is a great champion who I hope will go on to have a great managerial career,” Nicchi told Italian radio.
“But at certain levels you have to be careful about what you say. There are always kids listening.
“If it happened in Italy? I would have defended the referee. They can’t be threatened either before, during, or after the game.
“After that, there are the appropriate bodies which must judge the conduct of all players on the pitch.”
English referee Oliver meanwhile has been offered police support after he and his family were abused by social media trolls.