The strong words from Gianluigi Buffon after Real Madrid-Juventus has opened a debate in Italy, so much so that one of the main sports papers has asked the goalkeeper to rectify the situation with Los Blancos.
It’s felt that the Buffon lacked class in that particular instance, something that he is usually synonymous with.
From La Gazzetta dello Sport, and through one of its most important figures, writer and football editor Luigi Garlando, Buffon is asked to reflect.
This is the column:
‘There are wrongs that can be put right with a second intervention.
That’s why, Giggi, a second intervention is necessary, to atone for those words that escaped after Real-Juve like a slippery ball.
Recover them, strangle them, erase them, ask for forgiveness, something that is only available to the brave.
The penalty was debatable, ok, and we fully understand the atrocious bitterness.
We already had in mind an epilogue on penalties and we imagined you gigantic under the sticks of the [Estadio Santiago] Bernabeu, like Zoff in ’82.
You deserved to close a legendary career by holding the big ears of the trophy.
In 2006 you lifted the World Cup, and we, who have admired you for 20 years have put all the human understanding into the situation to justify your actions.
But there is a point where we must stop: the words after the game were wrong.
It has made us ill to know that the worst words were the last, after the shower, when you should have had all the time to cool your instincts and recover the sense of responsibility that is asked of an athlete, especially the captain of the national team.
A referee will never be ‘a murderer’ or ‘an animal’ as you suggest.
The way that you reproached Oliver should suggest you avoid talking about ‘crimes against humanity,’ even if it was only sporting, because children are being shot and killed in Syria.
You have always shown great sensitivity.
Tears shed on the field after Italy-Sweden, the night you confessed: “I am sorry for the children who will not see Italy in the World Cup this summer.”
That’s why Giggi.
Think of the children who behave the way they see their champions doing.
You have long been one of the most loved and followed.
Imagine that this weekend some young player suggests to the referee to go to the stands to eat chips.
They will feel legitimised to do it: “Buffon has said it too…”.
Giggi, repent of your words, strangle them, erase them.
Zidane was never able to eliminate Materazzi’s headbutt, but you can prove to be superior to him, like in 2006.
Remember that football is respect for the rules, for people, for mistakes, how defeat is part of the game and gives value to victory.
A referee can be wrong and a team that does nothing in the area for the whole game can, in the 93rd minute, make it.
Come on Giggi, we are already standing ready for your beautiful apology.’