Buffon’s appalling behaviour towards ref Michael Oliver shocked many
Gianluigi Buffon received a lot of negative press recently for his comments about referee Michael Oliver. His crass behaviour was a result of referee Michael Oliver’s decision to grant Madrid a penalty shot in the final minutes of the match.
For those of you who don’t know or may have forgotten; The penalty was issued because Medhi Benatia pushed Lucas Vazquez in the back. At the time, the Italians were winning 3-0, when the referee awarded the penalty in stoppage time. As a result, Juventus protested and Buffon became consumed with anger. His outburst had him sent off in the final minutes of Juventus’ Champions League quarter-final second leg.
Subsequently, Oliver and his wife have been subjected to abuse from Juventus fans and many others. They have even received death threats and had to go to the police to get protection. To make matters worse, Buffon did not feel the need to apologise for his behaviour. In an interview with Mediaset Premium, the player continued to insult Oliver and justify himself, saying;
“I know the referee saw what he saw, but it was certainly a dubious incident – Clearly you cannot have a heart in your chest, but a garbage bin. On top of that, if you don’t have the character to walk on a pitch like this in a stadium like this, you can sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, drinking your Sprite and eating crisps.”
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport appropriately headlined their article about Buffon; ‘Anger and Pride’. His appalling behaviour fuelled a lot of backlash from fans. Despite this, Buffon refused to apologise for his criticism of referee Michael Oliver. He told Italian TV;
“The content remains and I stand by all of it – I’d say them all again – maybe with a different type of language. You find a way to speak, right or wrong, that at times can seem excessive – but this is me,
I am Gigi Buffon.”
Buffon reminded the world why he is still a class act
Following Juventus’ defeat against Napoli, Buffon’s behaviour reminded fans of his respectable nature. The shocking victory for Napoli left fans blindsided, as Kalidou Koulibaly secured a winning header for Napoli.
Unlike his reaction to referee Michael Oliver, Buffon handled the defeat with class. The goalkeeper has always been a man of class, with a few exceptions, and his behaviour on Sunday reinstated that.
Following the defeat, the 40-year-old remained on the pitch to congratulate all the Napoli players, long after the rest of the Juve team went down the tunnel. The rest of his teammates had only quickly shaken hands with their opponents in order to retreat back to their dressing room. However, Buffon made it a point to stay behind to congratulate every member of Napoli’s team. This reminded fans that Buffon remains to be a man of class.