A sad end for Buffon amidst Juve's UCL exit
Veteran legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was shattered after his team bowed out, under controversial circumstances, of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals tie. The Italian was also red carded for his protests as Real Madrid were awarded a penalty in injury-time. Cristiano Ronaldo's 15th goal of the campaign meant Real won on 4-3 aggregate despite Juventus fighting hard to make it 3-0 at the Bernabeu.
Conceding a penalty rues Juve's hopes of progression
The stage was set for Juventus to force the tie into extra-time and possible penalties after leading the game 3-0 up till the 92nd minute. Defender Medhi Benatia tripped forward Lucas Vazquez in the box in a promising situation for Real. As the referee blew a whistle for a penalty, Buffon reacted and was subsequently shown a straight red. Minutes later, Ronaldo scored.
Was this Buffon's final UCL appearance?
Buffon wouldn't have hoped for an end like this, especially in a competition that has eluded him forever. It was his 650th appearance for Juve and with all the work his team had done, the emotional reaction carried him away. A respected figure across the world, Buffon's red card added to the agony. It is likely he would retire in the summer.
The reaction and the reality
Post match, the veteran keeper stated that it was a borderline incident and hit out at the referee for being too cynical. He also added that Juve deserved to have the extra-time for all the grit they showed. Replays show that the challenge by Benatia on Vazquez was a clear penalty and the referee Michael Oliver got his decision spot on.
Fans' reaction on social media
Fans across social media sites had mixed reactions to the incident. Although majority of fans, including neutrals, felt it was the right decision to award the penalty and the red card to Buffon for reacting in a manner he did.