Gianluigi Buffon has broken his silence over his attack on referee Michael Oliver in the acrimonious ending to this season’s Champions League semi-final.
With Juventus on the brink of forcing extra-time in after an incredible three-goal comeback, Oliver awarded Real Madrid a penalty in stoppage time.
Medhi Benatia fouled Lucas Vazquez to trigger a furious protest from Buffon and co. that resulted in the former Italy No.1 receiving a red card – with UEFA since charging Buffon.
Cristiano Ronaldo converted to send Los Blancos through before Buffon unleashed a verbal attack on Oliver, insisting he had "committed a crime against sportsmanship."
But after confirming his Juve exit this summer, with Wojciech Szczesny set to inherit the gloves as the club’s No.1, Buffon backtracked and offered an apology to Oliver.
"It is obvious that I have transgressed and I am sorry," Buffon said. "But it was a very special situation.
"I couldn’t do anything else but say those things and I am sorry to have offended the referee.
"I was sorry to have ‘offended’ him because at the end of the day he is a human being who does a very difficult job.
"If I’d seen him two days later, I’d have hugged him and apologised, but he could’ve been a bit calmer in such an important game."
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