MADRID – Playing what many believe was his last UEFA Champions League encounter Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon couldn’t hold back his emotions, saying that he regrets leaving the way he did.
Talking to The Dependent, the veteran goalkeeper said he regrets leaving Santiago Bernabeu after the quarterfinal defeat against Real Madrid, which could be his last ever match in Europe’s premier club competition, without head butting the referee Michael Oliver.
Buffon admitted that since Oliver had already sent him off for remonstrating over a late penalty decision, he might as well have ‘earned it properly’.
“As I approach retirement, I think this will be the biggest regret I have from my career. In fact, scratch that, this will be the biggest regret I have from life,” the Italian goalkeeper said.
Buffon said considering that Oliver had ‘committed a crime against sportsmanship’ after awarding Madrid a late penalty, after Juve had heroically fought back to tie the game 3-3 on aggregate, head-butting him would’ve been the ‘greatest equaliser in football history’.
“Some say that leading 3-0 on the night and being on the brink of one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the sport was historic, I say head butting the referee would’ve been even more historic, even if not unparalleled,” a characteristically calm and composed maintained in his exclusive interview with The Dependent.
“Who knows if I’ll ever get another chance, even in a non-football gathering.”