Michael Oliver has broken his silence on the abuse he received in the aftermath of awarding Real Madrid a controversial penalty against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final.
Los Blancos had a three-goal lead to take to Turin after the first leg but the Bianconeri incredibly levelled at 3-3.
Ninety minutes had elapsed when Oliver awarded Real a penalty, with Gianluigi Buffon seeing red for his protestations.
Cristiano Ronaldo buried the spot-kick past Wojciech Szczesny to send Zinedine Zidane’s men into the last four and Juve out of the competition.
Oliver was targeted by abusive fans on social media, and said: “It was a weird few days.
"But it was nice that so many people, both within the game and outside the game, were keen to offer their support. It was quite humbling actually and it meant a lot.
“I had people coming up to me in the street and people from inside the game were sending me messages of support. It’s a nice thing to know I’ve got that backing.”
As well as throwing their support behind Oliver, the FA later asked the official to oversee the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea next month.
“I was very proud and humbled to receive the call,” Oliver added. “When you start out, taking charge of the Cup Final is not something you even think about.
"As your career progresses it becomes a realistic target but it’s not a call you ever expect to take. This opportunity only comes around once in a referee’s career.
“It’s funny how things work out because the 1994 Final between Manchester United and Chelsea is the first one I remember watching. And now here I am taking charge of those two teams in an FA Cup Final 24 years later.”
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