I'm not against Buffon or Juventus – Del Piero responds to criticism

Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero insisted he is not against Gianluigi Buffon after questioning the goalkeeper's outburst following the club's dramatic Champions League quarter-final elimination.

Del Piero debated Buffon's post-match antics after the Juve captain launched a stunning tirade directed at referee Michael Oliver, having been sent off as he furiously protested a stoppage-time penalty awarded to Real Madrid Wednesday.

With extra time looming, Medhi Benatia was adjudged to have fouled Lucas Vazquez at the death as Madrid progressed to the semi-finals 4-3 on aggregate despite a 3-1 second-leg loss midweek.

Angered by the decision, Buffon said Oliver had a "trash can" instead of a heart, while the 40-year-old dismissed the Englishman's ability to referee on the biggest stage – a tirade with which Del Piero disagreed.

Former Juve captain Del Piero has since been criticised by fans of the Serie A champions and the 43-year-old used Twitter to hit back.

"I respect all opinions of what I have heard and above all read over the last few days," Del Piero wrote Saturday.

"But those who insinuated – maybe by only reporting part of what I said – that I am going against Gigi, in bad faith or even happy that Juve were eliminated, is hurting me.

"Such people aren't worthy of attention. What is going on here?"

Buffon broke his silence Saturday, however, the veteran was unremorseful for his scathing criticism of Oliver at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Serie A leaders Juve welcome ninth-placed Sampdoria to Turin Sunday.


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