In April 2018, Gianluigi Buffon was involved in a bit of a fracas in a crucial Champions League match against Real Madrid.
After watching his Juventus side race into a 3-0 lead at the Bernabeu and level the quarter-final tie on aggregate, the goalkeeper had to deal with the heartbreak of the hosts being awarded a last-minute penalty.
Buffon became enraged at the situation and his furious reaction resulted in Michael Oliver sending him off in what many believed would be the Italian’s last European appearance.
Cristiano Ronaldo duly scored the pressure spot kick to send Real Madrid through and after the match, Buffon went on a quite extraordinary rant.
Buffon’s rant after red card vs Real Madrid
Oliver was, unsurprisingly, the victim of the verbal tirade, the legendary goalkeeper saying in a post-match interview: “To award such a doubtful, or super doubtful penalty, just ahead of the final whistle and destroy the work of a team who gave absolutely everything you have to have a rubbish bin instead of a heart.
“You need to be prepared for a game like this. You have to watch the first leg and see that a similar foul was not punished with a penalty for Juventus in Turin. And especially you need personality to referee a game like this. If you don’t have personality, you better watch the game from the stands with your wife and your kids while eating fries.
“What did I say to him while I was protesting? I could say everything in that moment because when you take such decision in a certain moment of the game it means you don’t know what sport is.
“A human being cannot decide the elimination of a team with such decision. When I don’t feel that I’m good enough, I put myself in a corner. He should do the same. It’s a matter of sensibility. It means you don’t know where you are, which teams are playing, you don’t know s***.
“If you have the cynicism to award a penalty like that in the 93rd minute, you are not a man, you are an animal.”
Yeah, he wasn’t happy…
Buffon’s words were bang out of order, but the penalty saga was nevertheless a heartbreaking moment for him and football fans in general.
However, despite the fact it looked like the European career of one of the greatest ever goalkeepers would end in devastating fashion, former Liverpool striker Michael Owen still tried to make a joke out of it in the BT Sport studio.
And to say his words went down like a lead balloon would be something of an understatement…
Video: Owen’s joke in the BT Sport studio after Buffon’s red card
Buffon’s 21 year Champions League career just came to end with a dramatic red card and a loss.— HK (@_hassank_) April 11, 2018
Michael Owen: “at least he doesn’t have to miss the next CL game now.” pic.twitter.com/kXx02jT6LZ
Owen said while laughing to himself: “The consolation for Buffon is that he won’t miss the semi-final because of the red card.”
Ouch. Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand’s faces said more than words ever could.
Thankfully for Buffon and his supporters, the controversial epic in Madrid was not his final appearance in the Champions League.
The following season he represented Paris Saint-Germain in Europe’s top-tier competition, before returning to Juventus in 2019 and getting more continental games under belt.
Buffon still wasn’t able to win ol’ Big Ears for the very first time, though, and now that he’s at Parma in Serie B, he almost certainly will never hold the trophy aloft…